Eight and a half hours after the first game got going, Northeastern and Delaware gave the crowd the competitive game it so desperately sought.
The Huskies prevailed in the 67-64 tug of war. Monté Ross said it had the atmosphere of a championship game — a sentiment that’s confirmed by this graph.
We know that basketball is a game of runs, and what made this one fun was that individual players took their turns dominating for two and three minutes at a time.
It started with Northeastern swingman Quincy Ford, who scored nine of Northeastern’s first 14 points. Then teammate Zach Stahl got rolling, battling for position and converting several looks within five feet of the bucket. The two Huskies were tied for the team-high 11 points at halftime.
For the Blue Hens, the first half of the game was The Kory Holden Show. Perhaps he went extra hard to prove himself as CAA ROY Elijah Bryant’s equal. Holden knocked down a bevy of runners and 3-pointers en route to 16 first-half points.
Both teams shot 54.5% in the first half, and a late David Walker 3-pointer gave Northeastern a 35-31 lead at the intermission.
After Ford hit a 3-pointer on Northeastern’s first possession of the second half, Northeastern had it’s biggest lead of the game. Then, it was Cazmon Hayes’ turn to make a personal run as the Delaware sophomore, who committed two fouls and three turnovers in six first-half minutes, scored nine consecutive points in a 9-2 run that knotted the game at 40.
From there, it was more of the same. Northeastern ended a five-minute scoreless drought with seven points in 57 seconds. That gave the Huskies their largest lead (52-44), but Delaware’s Maurice Jeffers and Marvin King-Davis provided the counterpunch. Northeastern rallied to within one with 2:52 to play.
Delaware had a chance to take the lead, but a question five-second call on Holden gave the ball back to Northeastern. Holden kept Delaware within one possession, but Walker hit four free throws in the final 14 seconds.
Chivarsky Corbett’s potential game-tying 3-pointer was no good, and Northeastern got revenge against the team that knocked it out of last year’s CAA Tournament.
Northeastern shot 54.8% on the game, with Walker (17), Ford (16), and Stahl (13) scoring in double figures.
Holden finished with 20 points, which was the highest individual mark of Saturday’s CAA quarterfinals. Kyle Anderson (11) and Jeffers (10) also finished in double figures.
Northeastern will hope the third time’s the charm when it matches up with UNCW tomorrow at 5:00.