William & Mary snaps Hens’ 7-game win streak 81-77

The Hens’ Kevin Anderson (left) talks to his teammates during Saturday’s game in Williamsburg, Va. William & Mary sports information photo

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Delaware had a lot going for it in the first half on Saturday.

The Blue Hens owned a seven-point lead on William & Mary and Nate Darling had already scored 25 points by intermission.
But good things don’t last forever.

The Tribe stormed back in the second half to upend Delaware, 81-77, and snap the Hens’ seven-game winning streak in CAA men’s basketball before a crowd of 5,090 at Kaplan Arena.

William & Mary (10-5 CAA, 18-10 overall) was also the last team to beat Delaware (9-5 CAA, 19-8 overall), downing the Hens, 77-68, on Jan. 16 in Newark.

“The second half was a half of runs, and they made some big-time shots,” said UD coach Martin Ingelsby. “They’re a good team, and started the second half with a big run that hurt us. I thought we did a great job guarding the three-point line, but didn’t get the stops we needed to on the defensive end.

“We’ve had an unbelievable run, and have nothing to be ashamed about losing to a good team on the road,” Ingelsby said about the Hens’ winning streak. “We are much better than the first time we played them, and I feel really good about where we are. We’re excited to get back home and hopefully the community can come out and support us next week.”

Delaware led 61-60 when Ryan Allen drilled a jumper with 5:51 remaining. However, William & Mary scored the next 10 points, going up 70-61 following a three-point play by Nathan Knight with 3:35 on the clock.

Delaware got back within three at 70-67, and again closed the gap to three twice in the final 20 seconds, but the Tribe hit five of six free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Darling finished with 36 points, as he buried five three-pointers and hit all 11 of his free throw attempts. Darling broke the UD single-season record for three-pointers, and now has 89 threes on the season with at least three weeks remaining.

The old record was 86, held by both Allen and former standout John Gordon.

Kevin Anderson and Collin Goss each finished with 10 points for the Hens, while Justyn Mutts and Allen both contributed eight.

The 6-10, 254-pound Knight posted his Division I-leading 21st double-double of the season with 33 points and 12 rebounds for the Tribe. William & Mary shot 58.2 percent from the field, including 17 of 28 in the second half.

William & Mary led 32-30 with 5:19 left in the first half before the Hens scored the next 11 points, including the final nine by Darling, to go in front 41-32 at the 2:54 mark. The Tribe answered with a pair of baskets before Dylan Painter scored inside, as Delaware took a 43-36 advantage at halftime.

But William & Mary opened the second half with a 15-2 run, taking a 51-45 lead and forcing a Delaware timeout with 14:15 remaining. Delaware was down seven a minute later but responded with a 13-point spurt of their own to go up 59-53 on a Goss layup at the 9:18 mark.