Local college sports notebook: Hens’ Allen has made the long road back

Ryan Allen has scored in double figures in six of his first seven games back, with a pair of 19-point efforts. He’s averaging 13.1 points per contest. UD sports information/Jordan Burgess

Ryan Allen has always believed in his shot.

And considering he tied the Delaware men’s basketball team record with 86 three-pointers last winter, who can blame him?

But the left-handed guard also went more than five months without shooting a ball following surgery on his right shoulder last March.
In some ways, Allen said it was like learning to shoot again.

“Even though it was my off shoulder, it still affected my jump shot a lot,” said the 6-foot-2 sophomore. “I was shooting a lot with one hand so, just bringing it back with two hands, it was kind of rough a little bit.”

It didn’t help that Allen also missed the first 11 games of the Blue Hens’ season with a broken bone in his foot.

Only now, with Delaware diving into the heart of its Colonial Athletic Association schedule, are the Hens starting to see the Allen who was the CAA Rookie of the Year last winter.

Allen has scored in double figures in six of his first seven games back, with a pair of 19-point efforts. He’s averaging 13.1 points per contest.

“It’s probably the first time since the kid can remember not being able to do anything for a long time,” said coach Martin Ingelsby. “And that was hard on him — hard on a young kid that wants to keep improving.

“Now he’s gotten into a good rhythm. I think practice has helped too. Since we’ve been back from Christmas, we’ve spent a lot of time with that (first-string) white team playing together. We’re starting to gel and learn and get cohesive on the offensive end.”

Ingelsby said Allen was particularly excited to play more with fellow sophomore guard Kevin Anderson, who missed the second half of last season with a knee injury.

“Those guys didn’t really play a lot of basketball together,” said Ingelsby.

In his first seven games back, Allen has sank 21-of-54 three-pointers. That total puts him third on the squad already.

But, with the Hens playing a big 4 p.m. game at Charleston today, Allen said he doesn’t feel any more responsibility to score than any other player.

“With the team we’ve got this year, I don’t feel any pressure at all to do anything,” he said. “I just go out there and play my game and help the team as much as I can.”

UD getting baseball lights

The University of Delaware announced on Friday that its baseball field, Bob Hannah Stadium, will be getting lights this spring.

The first night game at Hannah Stadium is slated for April 5 when the Blue Hens host William & Mary in a CAA contest.

“We can sense the excitement with our current players and expect this to add to our already outstanding facilities for our program,” said UD baseball coach Jim Sherman. “Night baseball is coming this April. How great is that?”

DSU holding fundraiser

Fans and supporters of Delaware State bowling can lend a hand to the team later this month.

The nationally-ranked Hornets will hold their annual Strike-A-Thon fundraiser on Jan. 27 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Brunswick Doverama bowling center.

During the event, Hornet bowlers will roll for an hour. Sponsors can make a flat donation to the program or pledge a per-strike gift.

The Delaware State bowling team is ranked 13th in the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association monthly poll.

Horton makes statement

In the fall of 2017, Ithiel Horton and Kai Toews were two high school basketball standouts on a recruiting visit at the University of Delaware.

“We had fun together,” Horton said Thursday night on the Blue Hens’ post-game radio show on WDSD-FM. “I kind of thought he was going to commit here.”

But while Horton ended up at UD, Toews signed with the Hens’ CAA rival, UNC-Wilmington. Now they’re arguably the top two rookies in the league.

On Thursday, the two freshmen squared off for the first time in what figures to be several meetings during their college careers.

“At the opening tip, I kind of shook his hand and was like, ‘What’s up Kai? Long time no see,’” said Horton.

Horton clearly can say he won the first matchup. Not only did Delaware beat the Seahawks, 82-69, but Horton matched the Delaware freshman record with 31 points and set the school mark with nine three-pointers.

Toews, who netted five points and three assists, is averaging 7.5 points per game but with 129 assists. Horton is averaging 14.1 points with 35 rebounds, 30 assists and 19 steals.

Notes

• According to published reports, Zachariah Burton, the younger brother of Delaware defensive lineman Frank Burton, may join his brother with the Hens. Zachariah spent time at both defensive back and receiver in two years at Virginia, where he didn’t see game action.

Both Burtons played at William Pen High.

• The Wesley College men’s basketball team (1-1 AEC, 7-8 overall), which has played just one home game since Dec. 1, will travel to Cabrini today for a 3 p.m. game. The Wolverine women (0-2 AE, 4-10 overall), who play at Cabrini today at 1 p.m., haven’t played at home since Dec. 15.

• Delaware State hosts North Carolina A&T in a MEAC basketball doubleheader today. The women’s game is set for 2 p.m. with the men’s contest at 4 p.m.

• The Division III football world was recently stunned again by the sudden death of a longtime coach. Johns Hopkins’ coach Jim Margraff died of a heart attack on Jan. 2.

In 29 seasons, the 58-year-old led the Blue Jays to a record of 221-89-3 with 10 appearances in the NCAA playoffs, including eight straight. Hopkins had just had its most successful season, going 12-2 and reaching the national semifinals.

Mike Drass’ Wesley program went 3-0 asgainst the Jays in playoff games but all them were close, hard-fought contests.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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