ESTERO, Fla. — It turns out Ryan Allen is not just hot at home, he’s shooting pretty well in any arena right now.
One game after netting a career-high 35 points, the senior guard scored a team-high 22 more as Delaware picked up a 75-68 victory over Appalachian State in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase men’s basketball tournament on Monday night.
Allen tied his career high by sinking 6-of-9 three-pointers as four players scored in double figures for the Blue Hens (3-1), who face Fordham on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the second of three games in the tourney being played at the Hertz Arena.
Adrian Delph scored 39 points for App State but only one other Mountaineer scored more than four.
"This was a heck of a college basketball game with two good teams going at it," said UD coach Martin Ingelsby. "I'm proud of our effort, especially the way we defended in the last 10 minutes. Keevin Anderson really defended Delph down the stretch. We had a size advantage and imposed our will inside.
"Andrew Carr had an outstanding game offensively and Ryan Allen was fearless, he willed in a couple threes when we needed them. This was a great team effort and we're looking forward to playing again tomorrow."
In the first-ever meeting between the two programs, Delaware out-scored the Mountaineers, 40-33, in the second half to break away from a 35-35 halftime tie.
Besides Allen, Dylan Painter (17 points, 8 rebounds), Jameer Nelson, Jr. (15 points) and Andrew Carr (12 points) also scored in double figures. Allen was 8-of-11 from the floor.
The Hens didn’t hit a field goal in the last 4:28 of regulation after taking a 72-61 advantage on a fastbreak dunk by Nelson. Nelson also started Delaware’s scoring with a pair of dunks in the first two minutes.
The Hens had a total of five dunks in the contest.
Delaware led by as many as seven points in the first half but needed an Allen jumper with 19 seconds left to tie the contest at 35-35 at intermission.
The Hens led by only one with 7:33 left in the game before going on a 12-2 run to build its 11-point lead.
Allen was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week for his 35-point performance, which came in a 85-82 overtime win over LaSalle in Newark last Wednesday. He was 11-of-17 from the field while playing 43 minutes in that contest.
Coming into Monday’s game, Allen had scored exactly 1,500 points in his career with 250 three-pointers.
The last time the Hens played in the state of Florida, they won the 2019 Sunshine Slam championship with wins over Oakland, Southern Illinois and UTSA. Starting with Monday’s contest, Delaware is slated to play nine games in the next 19 days.