Local college notebook: Improved Hornet women eye MEAC co-leader Norfolk today

DOVER — At this time last season, the Delaware State University women’s basketball team was bringing up the rear in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Fast forward one year and the Hornets are right in the thick of the MEAC race.

David Caputo

Delaware State heads to MEAC co-leader Norfolk State today only one game behind in the loss column for first place. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Hornets are 5-2 in conference play (9-11) overall after winning just five MEAC games all of last season. The Hornets have already surpassed their season win total from a year ago, which was seven.

The turnaround, under second-year coach Dave Caputo, is thanks to a large roster reset over the summer as the Hornets gained 12 new players. Just current senior Lanayjah Ashe saw extended minutes with the squad last year.

“I’m pleased,” Caputo said. “These kids are working so hard man. They’ve been together for like four months. It’s 12 new kids and we had no summer together. So for them to do this, it’s all them. I’m not playing. It’s pretty special.”

While Caputo doesn’t think the Hornets are satisfied yet with where they are, he still can appreciate the journey so far.

“Me and my staff know, we went through a lot last year,” Caputo said. “It was tough. We were 5-11 in conference and won three late in the season at home. So at this point last year, heck, we were probably 4-16 with maybe one conference win.”

The MEAC race is shaping up to be a tight one.

Norfolk State and Bethune-Cookman are currently tied for first place at 7-1. The Hornets are one of three teams behind the pair who have two MEAC losses.

Both of Delaware State’s MEAC setbacks came to North Carolina A&T, which was selected No. 1 in the preseason poll. North Carolina A&T and Morgan State are the two other teams with two conference losses.

Delaware State does have the tiebreaker currently against Morgan State thanks to its head-to-head victory last month.

High-scoring hoopsters

Delaware’s Nate Darling and Wesley College’s Brian Cameron continue to be among the highest-scoring men’s basketball players in the country.

Darling has averaged 31.7 ppg in the last three contests for the Blue Hens, who take a five-game winning streak into today’s 2 p.m. CAA home game with James Madison. The 6-foot-5 junior guard has scored at last 27 points seven times this season.

Darling is 17th nationally in Division I at 20.6 ppg while his 75 three-pointers rank him fifth in Division I.

Cameron is third in Division III in scoring at a career-high 28.6 ppg. The 6-foot-3 senior guard needs 15 points to reach 2,200 for his career.

The Wolverines (7-1 AEC, 13-8 overall), who are tied for first place in the Atlantic East Conference, host Immaculata today at 3:30 p.m. Wesley has won 10 of its last 12 games.

Local transfer for DSU

Zach Kent, who began his basketball career at Caesar Rodney High, has come back home to Delaware State.

Now a 6-foot-11, 225-pounder, Kent was a mid-season transfer from Tennessee and will be eligible for the Hornets next season after the fall semester. The first Delawarean signed by the Vols, the Magnolia native only got in two college games after missing last season with a knee injury.

After leaving CR, Kent played at both St. Andrews and Blair Academy, N.J. He had a good deal of major-college interest.

Notes

• Dover senior basketball guard Elijah Allen posted on social media that he received a scholarship offer from Delaware State.

• Thomas Aloe, a Caesar Rodney High product, is one of three co-captains for the Delaware men’s lacrosse team along with Matt DeLuca
and Jake Hervada. The Blue Hens open their season at noon today, hosting Mount St. Mary’s.

• Former Smyrna High basketball standout Caleb Matthews, who was a freshman at NJIT, has transferred to Wilmington University.

• A pair of Henlopen Conference football players signed with Division II schools in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference this
week. Masen Wilson of Smyrna signed with Kutztown while D.J. Rawley of Polytech signed with Clarion.

• Sydney Hollinger of Cape Henlopen committed to Wichita State for bowling last week.

• Former Wesley College quarterback Joe Callahan will start the XFL season on the fledgling league’s ‘Team Nine’ roster. Team Nine is a 40-player squad that will keep practicing to have replacement players ready for any of the XFL’s eight teams.

• Delaware is also expected to add Middletown High grad Tamar Teagle, a defensive back who spent last year at VMI, to its football roster.