Local college notebook: UD men’s hoop team making major progress

The game was on the line when Martin Ingelsby called timeout on Thursday night.

His Delaware men’s basketball team had just squandered a four-point lead against rival Drexel.

The Blue Hens now trailed by two and there was only 22 seconds left when the Blue Hens came to the bench.

Really, said Ingelsby, the players did much of the communicating in the huddle.

“Those guys were talking to each other,” said the first-year UD coach. “I just said, ‘All right, we’re going to do this (play). … let’s go make it happen.’”

UD coach Martin Ingelsby said pulling out Thursday night’s win over Drexel was just another example of how far the Hens have come. (UD sports information/Mark Campbell)

Delaware did just that, with freshman Ryan Daly nailing a three-pointer to give the Hens a dramatic 68-67 victory over the Dragons.

After losing their first six Colonial Athletic Association games, the Hens are now 5-4 in their last nine league games. They’ll try to stretch their winning streak to four in a row when they host William & Mary today at 7 p.m. in their home finale.

Considering the low expectations for Delaware at the start of the season, this was really a best-case scenario. Ingelsby talked all along about simply trying to get the Hens playing well by February.

“We were a work in progress,” said the former Notre Dame point guard. “I wasn’t as worried as much about what our won-and-loss record was going to be. Our team grew throughout the season and I think you’re seeing the rewards and the dividends from that.

“It’s a team that enjoys playing together. Guys are confident, they’re positive with each other — to the point where I kind of think they take ownership of themselves.”

And while Delaware’s 12-16 record still isn’t great, it’s also the most victories for the program since going to the NCAA Tournament in 2014.

The Hens have been evolving all winter, with 10 different players starting at least three games this season. The current starting lineup includes two true freshmen, two sophomores and a junior.

Ingelsby said pulling out Thursday night’s win was just another example of how far the Hens have come.

“We’re up four and we give up back-to-back threes,” said Ingelsby. “That’s where I think it shows the character of a group. Earlier in the season, I’m not sure if we would have been able to dig out of that hole. But we’ve been able to get confident, we’ve been able to stay positive.”

Other hoop happenings

The Wesley College men’s basketball team accomplished its biggest goal by beating Penn State-Harrisburg on Wednesday night.

The victory means the Wolverines will finish in the top six in the Capital Athletic Conference and earn the program’s 10th-straight appearance in the league tournament.

But Wesley would also love to earn a home game when the CAC tourney starts on Tuesday night.

In order for that to happen, the Wolverines first need to beat Mary Washington today at 3 p.m. in their regular-season finale. They then need both St. Mary’s and Marymount to lose their games.

Wesley, Mary Washington and Marymount are all tied for fourth place with York locked into the third spot.

The Delaware State men’s squad, which has won four of its last five games, has a rare Saturday off today before hosting Morgan State on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

That starts a three-game, regular-season-ending stretch of home contests for the Hornets.

At 6-7 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, DSU is eighth in the very-crowded 13-team league standings. Realistically speaking, the Hornets could still finish anywhere from fourth to 10th in the MEAC.

Notes

• Sean Devine, Delaware’s football offensive coordinator the last four seasons, has landed as the offensive line coach at rival Villanova.

• Delaware State’s football team announced that it has added Myles Beverly, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end from Michigan, to its recruiting class. Apparently Beverly also plans to play baseball for the Hornets, posing with both a baseball glove and football when he signed on Wednesday.

DelState coach Kenny Carter said he heard Beverly was still available through a coaching friend who knows Beverly’s family.

“We wateched his film and we love him,” said Carter. “He’s exactly what you want. … That (tight end) room grows substantially when it comes to guys who can run and can also block on and off the line of scrimmage.”

• Cape Henlopen High grad Anna Frederick netted three goals as Temple rallied for an 18-16 win over Monmouth in women’s lacrosse on Wednesday. That included a goal with three seconds left to cap off the victory.

Frederick, a senior attack, has four goals in two games for the Owls.

• Former Laurel High standout softball pitcher Regan Green, a sophomore at Mississippi State, has allowed only one run with 13 strikeouts in 11 innings so far this season.

• Cape grad Tyreik Burton, a junior guard at Thiel College, was named the Presidents Athletic Conference Player of the Week last month after netting 51 points in two games. He leads the league in scoring at 18 points a game.

• With Jillian Lontz leaving Delaware State to coach women’s lacrosse at Wesley, her alma mater, both the Wolverines and Hornets have new head coaches this spring.

Lontz makes her debut with Wesley when the Wolverines host Hood today at 4:30 p.m. Kari-Lei Maddox, who was an assistant for five years at DSU, will lead the Hornets into their opener at Radford on March 4.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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