Hens survive early scare in CAA Tournament, use free throws to capture victory
Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 10, 2013 01:03
RICHMOND, Va. – Sophomore guard Jarvis Threatt took an inbound pass with under 20 seconds to play and dribbled in circles around Hofstra Pride defenders before getting fouled with the Hens up 58-55.
Threat, playing in his hometown, had previously missed an uncontested dunk that would have essentially sealed the game for Delaware moments earlier. Threatt did not falter at the free-throw line making both and sealing the Hens 62-57 victory.
Free throws were key in the Hens comeback win in the CAA quarterfinal game at the Richmond Coliseum. Delaware was 3-for-8 in the first half and 19-of-24 in the second half. Threatt made all 10 attempts in the second frame.
Head coach Monté Ross said his team came out sluggish at first and that helped Hofstra build a 27-24 lead going into halftime.
“We realized it was going to be a dog fight that we were going to be in for a very very difficult game,” Ross said. “That’s the way that they played us all year long.”
Ross said Delaware’s effort at the free-throw line really changed the tempo. It was a case of not being settled into the match, but at the end of the game junior guard Devon Saddler and Threatt really stepped up and hit free throws, he said.
Ross did not forget to leave out senior Jamelle Hagins with his effort from the line. Hagins was 6-for-10 from charity stripe.
“Two big ones that might get lost were Jamelle went to the line shooting a one-and-one, and he made both of them,” Ross said. “Then he came right back and made 1-for-2, so he was 3-for-4 in two trips, and I thought that allowed us to get a little bit of space there.”
The Hens came out a new team early in the second half. Delaware scored seven straight points thanks to Hagins and Saddler. Hagins went right into the paint on the first possession to get fouled and he connected on both attempts. Hagins then stole a pass at the top of the key and was fouled en route to the basket.
“I just told the team that we need to talk and play with more energy and fight through the fouls and things like that,” Saddler said. “We communicated in the second half, and we came out on fire.”
Saddler followed Hagins’ work at the free-throw line with two straight buckets to give the Hens control. Threatt kept up the hard work at the line by driving the lane and got fouled and connected on two free throws, which gave the Hens a five-point lead at the 11-minute mark.
Hagins saw a difference in Delaware’s play early in the half. He and Ross agreed experience played a key role in the Hens comeback.
“I think the team was very poised,” Hagins said. “We were coming out and knew we didn’t play our best in the first half, but we came out and knew that we had to play with a lot of energy, and we knew we had to play harder.”
Hofstra did not allow the Hens to run away with the game. Although the Pride missed all their free-throw attempts in the second half, Hofstra did shoot 40 percent from 3-point range. However, Delaware controlled the paint by out rebounding the Pride 42-36. The Hens were led by Hagins, who had 12 points and 15 rebounds. Saddler led all scorers with 22 points, 14 of which came in the second half.
Ross called Hagins a “walking double-double” and commended his effort all year on the glass. Delaware will play James Madison tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. Ross said the team is focused about each individual day and not the championship game.
“These guys would like to do something special,” Ross said. “In terms of winning a semifinal game tomorrow, the key that we talked about before this game is we wanted to do whatever we could to have an opportunity to play tomorrow at 4:30. Well we’ve done that. So now the key is we want to do whatever we can to get an opportunity to play Monday night at 7 p.m.”