Allen helps Delaware men's basketball team beat Drexel

Delaware State News
Posted 1/11/22

PHILADELPHIA — Delaware has blown big leads in this gym before.

After all, in 2018, the Blue Hens set an NCAA Division I record by squandering a 34-point advantage at Drexel.

So when the …

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Allen helps Delaware men's basketball team beat Drexel

Posted

PHILADELPHIA — Delaware has blown big leads in this gym before.

After all, in 2018, the Blue Hens set an NCAA Division I record by squandering a 34-point advantage at Drexel.

So when the Dragons whittled a 22-point Delaware advantage down to just four in the closing minutes on Tuesday night, there were no doubt some nervous Blue Hen fans out there.

But senior guard Ryan Allen sank a couple big shots and Delaware got its lead back to as many as nine points before registering an 81-77 win over Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball matchup.

The Hens (2-1 CAA, 11-5 overall) had lost five straight at the Daskalakis Center. Tuesday’s win was their first victory there since 2015.

Allen, who has been coming off the bench lately for Delaware, finished with 23 points. He hit 10-of-18 shots from the field while recording his third 20-point effort.

“When you’re playing Drexel, it’s never going to be easy,” said Allen. “It’s always going to be a dogfight. No matter how much you’re up, you’ve got to continue to play. You’ve got to finish out the game.

“The mantra is always, it’s not going to be easy. You’ve got to play for 40 straight minutes.”

Delaware was playing its first game since Dec. 31 after having a pair of games postponed by COVID.

Jameer Nelson, Jr. added 20 points with Dylan Painter contributing 14 points and nine rebounds. Andrew Carr was the fourth Blue Hen in double figures with 10 points.

The Dragons made it a 70-64 game with four minutes to play, but Allen hit a jumper from the left elbow to extend the margin back to eight.

Drexel (1-1 CAA, 6-6 overall) then countered with two free throws and a layup to get within four. This time, Allen drilled a jumper and then found Carr for a dunk with 1:20 left and the Hens weren’t threatened from there.

The home team had won 10 straight games in this rivalry.

“Ryan’s obviously a confident guy,” said Delaware coach Martin Ingelsby. “He was a guy who stopped those (Drexel) runs in the second half when we were searching. He made some tough shots.

“We were searching. We needed a bucket to go in. And Ryan Allen is as good as anybody we’ve had in finding a bucket and getting the ball in the hoop. He made some big shots when we really needed it.”

Delaware used a nine-point run midway through the first half to take a 27-20 advantage, and led the rest of the way. The Dragons closed within six late in the period, before Nelson, Jr. scored six points and Carr added a free throw as the Blue Hens took a 45-32 lead into the break.

Kevin Anderson opened the second half with a three-pointer, while Ebby Asamoah added a triple of his own to increase the lead to 53-36 with 16:22 remaining.

A driving layup by Allen three minutes later capped a six-point Blue Hen spurt and gave Delaware its largest lead of the night at 62-40 at the 13:45 mark.

But Drexel made a run of its own, closing within nine points at 67-58 before Allen answered with a deep three-pointer.

Delaware shot 52.6 percent from the field, knocked down nine three-pointers.

The Hens have won back-to-back road games but still face two more. They play at Hofstra on Saturday at 2 p.m.

“This was a great team win,” said Ingelsby. “We hadn’t played in a while but there wasn’t much rust.

“We got off to a good start offensively and did a good job of guarding when we needed. It was a really good effort. Ryan Allen was fabulous and made big shots down the stretch. To have 19 assists and just seven turnovers is great to see.”