While both teams are inching closer to a .500 record overall, only Delaware poses a real threat to the CAA leader Northeastern. The Blue Hens, who were picked to finish second, are 4-3 in the CAA and host the 2-6 William & Mary Tribe tonight at “The Bob.”
William & Mary comes in following a win over Towson, which snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Tribe. Delaware dropped their last game to Drexel which halted a mini three-game win streak.
The Tribe aren’t as bad as their record indicates and actually have a trio of solid scorers in Marcus Thornton, Tim Rusthoven and Brandon Britt. The three account for 68 percent of W&M’s scoring. They’ll provide a stiff test for the Delaware defense which has been fairly generous this season, allowing nearly 70 points per game. If the Tribe is looking to move higher than their current place in the standings–10th–a win tonight is imperative.
Delaware has some weapons of their own. Devon Saddler is their do-it-all guard, averaging 19.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He’s 22nd nationally in points, seventh in the CAA in three-pointers made and seventh in the CAA in assists. Senior forward Jamelle Hagins is putting together another solid season in Newark, averaging 12.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest. Saddler and Hagins were both selected to the preseason All-CAA first team.
Delaware is one of the best in the country at getting to the free throw line, averaging 22 attempts per game–making 75.9%. They’ve had three games this year in which they’ve attempted at least 37 free throws. The reason? Delaware’s offensive philosophy is simple–attack the rim and get to the line. They’re not as reliant on the three-pointer as most teams in college basketball.
William & Mary is going to have to limit their fouls in this one if they expect to hang around with Delaware. They should do plenty of that tonight and should have no problem against the Tribe.