Hornets put up fight in 78-63 loss to Temple

 

DSU basketball Dana Raysor by .

PHILADELPHIA — It wasn’t a win, but Saturday is being looked at as a step in the right direction for the Delaware State men’s basketball team.

The Hornets played one of their most competitive games of the season to date, falling 78-63 at Temple University. DelState (0-10) led in the first half and trailed by only two points in the second before the Owls (5-5) pulled away.

DSU basketball DeAndre Haywood by .

DeAndre Haywood scored a season-high 21 points in DSU’s loss. (Rodney Adams, All-Pro Photography)

Delaware State had lost its three prior games by an average margin of 40 points to Old Dominion, Michigan and Grand Canyon.

“We didn’t have the toughness yet and we’re starting to get that now,” said Dana Raysor, one of seven first-year players on the Hornets.

“This was the best performance we’ve played I think. We played together and we played hard. Temple is a great team with a lot of great, multi-talented guards but I thought we played defense, good help defense.”

The trip to Temple was the seventh of nine consecutive road games. By the time the nonconference part of its schedule is over, DSU will have made trips to California, Michigan, Arizona, Utah, Nebraska and Texas.

Coach Keith Walker hopes the experience will make his young players better.

“We play these games for a lot of reasons but when you play these games you’ve got to give the young players the experience,” Walker said. “This is the foundation that we’re going to build this program around for the long haul. We’ve got some very good freshmen. But I said before the season inexperience is going to hurt us, but you have to play these young guys so they can get experience. I think the young players are getting much better.”

“We have not played any cupcakes at all,” Walker added. “We haven’t gotten wins but we’ve gotten experience. I’ve got to try to get these young players as much experience as possible so when we enter the conference season they’ll be ready to face that challenge.”

Raysor sparked a first half scoring burst that saw the Hornets take an early 10-3 lead. Raysor scored nine of his 11 points in the first half.

Junior DeAndre Haywood carried the load for the Hornets in the second half with 17 of his season-high 21 points.

Temple led 35-27 at halftime but the Hornets closed the gap, capped by Haywood’s layup plus a foul to make it a 39-37 to start the second half. Temple answered by scoring 12 of the next 14 points and DelState couldn’t get the deficit under eight points the rest of the way.

Sophomore Todd Hughes and freshman Devin Morgan Jr. added 13 points apiece for Delaware State.

“I think our team is getting way better with the games that we’ve been playing,” Haywood said. “It’s getting us ready for the MEAC and that’s what we need right now. I thought we played really well on both ends of the floor.”

Temple struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 4-of-27 on three-point attempts but made up for that with a dominant rebounding performance. The Owls had 21 offensive rebounds and scored 17 second-chance points compared to just three from DSU. Temple out-rebounded the Hornets 48-33.

DelState also turned the ball over 15 times which led to 22 points off turnovers for the Owls.

“When you play a team of the caliber of Temple you can’t have unforced errors,” Walker said. “I know we’re not going to play a perfect game but we have to not allow us to beat ourselves.”

 

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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