Local college notebook: Hornets to end layoff vs. Hens on Monday

DOVER — The next time the Delaware State men’s basketball team plays a game will be its first in 12 days.

The Hornets are hoping to use that time to get better.

Eric Skeeters

Delaware State’s long layoff, coinciding with finals, will come to an end on Monday when the Hornets meet the University of Delaware. The contest, scheduled for 7 p.m, at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, will be DSU’s first since a 84-76 defeat to Loyola, Md. on Dec. 4.

The Hornets are off to another slow start with a 1-9 record through their first 10 games. Their only victory came against St. Elizabeth College, a Division III school, back on Nov. 26.

With only four current healthy players who were in the rotation last season, the early struggles are indicative of a young team gelling together.

“Learning how to win is one of the hardest things to do in any sport and that’s where we’re at,” said second-year coach Eric Skeeters. “The moral of the story is we got to keep getting better. It’s still the first couple of laps of this marathon.”

It’s a similar start to last season, Skeeter’s first year at the helm. The Hornets were 2-8 entering the Delaware matchup, with both wins coming against non-Division I opponents.

But the Hornets stunned Delaware on the road, 73-71, winning on a late putback by Kevin Larkin in the final seconds.

This year’s team has only starters Pinky Wiley and Ameer Bennett plus rotation players Myles Carter and Ronald Lucas currently playing who saw minutes last season. Two other returners D’Marco Baccum and Fahim Jenneto have yet to play this season due to injuries.

Delaware State has gotten a boost from Dayton transfer John Crosby. He leads the team in scoring with 20.1 points per game after sitting out a year ago due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Hens tangling with ‘Cats

The Delaware men’s basketball team will get a moment in the national spotlight today when it takes on No. 20 Villanova.

The contest is being played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. as part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic.

Kansas State plays Mississippi State at 11:30 a.m. with the Delaware-Villanova contest to follow. The games are being televised on ESPN-2.

The Hens (9-1) are 0-14 all-time vs. the Wildcats (7-2). Delaware has played a handful of competitive games with Villanova, losing by 10 points or less five times.

The closest of those contests was an 84-80 loss in 2013. Since then, though, Delaware has lost by 31 and 30 points.

Ironically, the last two scores have been almost identical. Villanova won 78-47 in 2014 and 78-48 in 2015.

Dylan Painter, the 6-foot-10 Villanova transfer, will not be on the court for Delaware today. With UD’s fall semester ending on Sunday, however, he is expected to make his Blue Hen debut on Monday against DelState.

Painter will have the rest of this season and next season remaining on his eligibility.

The Never Forget Tribute Classic benefits SoliderStrong, which helps support the men and women of the armed forces.

One more game for Wescott

Logan Wescott will wrap up his college football career next Saturday, Dec. 21 in the Camellia Bowl.

The starting Arkansas State senior defensive back and Woodbridge High graduate will be playing in a bowl game for the second-straight year with the Red Wolves.

Arkansas State went 7-5 this season to qualify for bowl eligibility. The Red Wolves will be taking on Florida International at 5:30 p.m. in Montgomery, Alabama.

Wescott is fourth on the team in tackles with 60. He has not missed a game since he transferred to Arkansas State and sat out the 2017 season after transferring from Delaware State.

Wescott also has two sacks, two fumble recoveries, a blocked kick and a defensive touchdown on the season.

Wescott also played in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl last year, where the Red Wolves lost to Nevada 16-13 in overtime.

Notes

• McDaniel’s Tony Wuest, a Smyrna High product, won the Centennial Conference (CC) Wrestler of the Week for the week of Dec. 2-8, the third time this season he was award the honor. Wuest won the 197-pound individual title at the Petrofes Invitational and remained undefeated on the season.

• Wilmington’s Yshaad Butcher scored 71 points in two games for the Delaware Tech men’s basketball team this week. He leads the team in scoring with 25 points per game.

• Former Delaware basketball standout Ryan Daly netted a career-high 32 points for St. Joe’s in a loss to Villanova last Saturday. But he had just two points in a loss to Temple later in the week for the Hawks (2-9).

• After today’s game against Cairn, the Wesley College women’s basketball team doesn’t play again until Jan. 8 when it hosts Marymount.

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