Photo Credit: Saquan Stimpson / ZUMAPRESS
NEWARK, Del. – Davon Usher scored a game-high 42 points to lead Delaware to a come-from-behind victory over College of Charleston, 67-64, on Wednesday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens (18-7, 10-0 CAA) have now won 12 straight and remain undefeated in conference play.
From the opening tip, the Cougars (12-12, 4-5 CAA) threatened that streak leading by as many as 20 points on a layup by redshirt sophomore reserve David Wishon (Concord, N.C.), 51-31, with 8:52 remaining in regulation.
They shot 55 percent from the floor, 66.7 percent from beyond the arc and 80 percent from the free throw line in a first half where CofC defensively locked down on the Blue Hens and limited the CAA’s No. 1 scoring offense to a season-low 22 first-half points.
Turnovers against Delaware’s press proved costly in the final stretch as Usher and the Blue Hens chipped away at CofC’s double-digit lead on each possession thereafter. The Cougars committed a season-high 26 miscues in the ballgame which Delaware converted into 18 points in its second-half comeback.
A layup by Usher with 31 seconds left to play gave the Blue Hens their first lead, 65-64, as CofC made only three of its last 10 attempts of the contest – mostly from the free throw line.
Devon Saddler, the league’s leading scorer, was held to six points in the first half, but ended the night with 17. He and Usher combined for 59 of Delaware’s final 67 points.
Junior big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory) had a productive first half, before getting into foul trouble and fouling out of the game with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss – his sixth double-double of the season. Wishon added a career-best 10 points off the bench, while junior Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) had 11.
Up next, CofC will travel to preseason favorite Towson (15-8, 6-2 CAA) for a Saturday, Feb. 8 rematch at 2 p.m. (ET) in Towson, Md. The game will be televised live regionally on Comcast SportsNet.
· For the sixth time this season and sixth consecutive game, the Cougars went with the starting five of junior guard Anthony Stitt, senior combo guard Nori Johnson, senior small forward Anthony Thomas, graduate senior forward Willis Hall and junior forward Adjehi Baru (2-4).
· Delaware claimed its first win in the all-time series as CofC still leads 2-1. It was the first meeting for both schools since the 2000-01 season and first on the road and as members of the CAA.
· Adjehi Baru registered his sixth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Delaware.
· CofC shot a season-best 57.5 percent from the field (23-of-40) against a CAA opponent. It was the second-best shooting percentage from the floor next to 60.5 percent at Davidson on Jan. 1.
· Anthony Stitt contributed 11 points against Delaware – his 12th game this season in double figures and third-straight contest in double figures.
· David Wishon came off the bench and scored a career-and season-high 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field and going 4-for-7 from the charity stripe.
· Defensively, CofC held Delaware to its lowest-scoring first half of the season with 22 points. The Blue Hens’ previous low was 25 first-half points against Liberty on Jan. 1.
· The Cougars committed a season-high 26 turnovers including 17 in the second half of play.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game …
“We controlled the game. The tempo was really good. Our guys listened to the game plan. We can play with anybody in the league. We shot 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. We didn’t take quick shots. We went 3-for-10 in the final stretch. In the end, the turnovers and the missed free-throw shooting got us beat regardless of (Davon) Usher’s 42 points.”