Regardless of what sport you play, coach, or follow, one phrase is heard time and time again — “It’s isn’t about how you start, it’s about how you finish.” While this is only partly true, but don’t tell it to the Delaware Blue Hens, who after an 11-0 start in the Colonial have dropped two of three and find themselves just a game up on second-place Towson.
On paper, a game against bottom dwelling UNC Wilmington might be just what the doctor ordered for head coach Monte Ross and his Blue Hens. The Seahawks are playing better than their 9-21 record, however, winning three of their past five and gave Delaware all it could handle in the first meeting. The Blue Hens scored the final four points and needed a blocked shot by Devon Saddler with under five seconds left to escape with a 66-65 win at home.
Saddler and fellow senior Davon Usher lead a potent offensive attack for Delaware, who rank in the top 30 nationally in scoring with 79.2 points per game. Saddler averages 20.4 points per game while Usher scores just a shade under that, at 19.8 per game — not a bad 1-2 punch.
The problem Delaware has is on the other side of the ball. Their defense is a sieve, allowing 75.4 points per game, so despite their impressive 20-9 record, they’re only outscoring opponents by less than four points per game.
With just two games left in the regular season, one slip up can cost Delaware a shot at the number one seed in the CAA tournament. Ross’ squad will conclude the regular season schedule at the College of Charleston on Saturday.
For Delaware, it’ll be about how they finish and not how they started, which now seems like a distant memory. A win tonight would help them secure at least a share of the regular season title and avoid the dreaded late-season fall from the top.