Northeastern eliminates Blue Hens from CAA tourney 74-50

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Trailing by only five points at halftime, Delaware still had Northeastern within reach.

But the Huskies weren’t about to let the Blue Hens ruin their CAA title hopes.

No. 2 Northeastern opened up some breathing room early in the second half and eventually pulled away to a 74-50 victory over seventh-seeded Delaware in Colonial Athletic Association Tournament men’s basketball quarterfinals on Sunday evening.

The Huskies (22-9) opened the second half on a 14-2 run before downing the Hens (14-19) for the seventh time in the last eight meetings. Delaware’s 50-point total was its lowest since 2016.

“Northeastern is a really good team, and their defense really bothered us tonight,” said second-year Blue Hen coach Martin Ingelsby. “They wore us down with their size and length in the second half. I felt good about only being down five at the half, but we couldn’t get anything going in the second half.

“It was a pleasure coaching (seniors) Skye Johnson and Anthony Mosley. We faced some adversity this year and I’m proud of how our guys handled it.”

The Huskies, who won their eighth consecutive game, advance to Monday’s semifinals against either Hofstra or UNCW.

Maxime Boursiquot tied his career-high with 17 points to lead Northeastern, while Vasa Pusica added 15 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. The Huskies shot 51.9 percent from the field, dished out 18 assists, and held a 39-24 rebounding advantage.

Ryan Daly led Delaware with 23 points and eight rebounds. The third-team all-CAA selection ends his sophomore season with exactly 1,000 points.

Eric Carter added 10 points, but no other Blue Hen had more than five. CAA Rookie of the Year Ryan Allen was limited to five points on 1-for-10 shooting from the floor.

Allen also went 0-for-5 from three-point range, failing to hit a three in a game for the first time this season. He also needed one three to break the school record for three-pointers in a season.

Delaware shot just 36.0 percent from the floor, including a 1-of-14 shooting from behind the arc.

Northeastern jumped out to a 21-14 lead nine minutes into the game, but Delaware scored nine of the next 11 points to pull even at 23-23 on a Mosley layup at the 5:27 mark. However, the Huskies scored the next four points and eventually took a 33-28 lead into the break.

Delaware then went scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half and Northeastern took advantage, scoring the first six points of the period to take a 39-28 advantage. Carter ended the drought with a jump hook but the Huskies then scored 10 of the next 11 points to increase the margin to 49-31 with 12:40 on the clock.

The Hens got within 13 points at 49-36 a minute later, but the Huskies scored the next five points and led comfortably the rest of the way.

It was the second straight Delaware lost in the CAA quarterfinals. The Hens haven’t reached the conference semifinals since winning the title in 2014.

Delaware loses only two seniors and notched one more victory than it did last season.

“I love the direction the program is heading and the guys we have coming back,” said Ingelsby. “We’ll use this experience as motivation moving forward. We’re building for the future, and will get back to work when we return to campus.”

Free throws

Daly reached double figures for the 26th consecutive game and posted his 10th 20-point effort of the year. … Daly is the 34th player in UD history to reach 1,000 points, and just the third to do it in his first two seasons … Mosley finished with 991 career points.

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