Delaware’s Colonial Athletic Association title aspirations survived one challenge Wednesday, when the Blue Hens overcame a 13-point first-half deficit to down a strong William & Mary team 76-71 at home. Today at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena, the Hens (11-7 overall, 3-0 CAA) undergo another men’s basketball examination that, in a different way, is no less unnerving. “I feel like it is a big test,” Delaware senior guard Davon Usher said, “because, in this conference, you’ve got to go on the road and steal some games because every team is tough at home.” Delaware then visits archrival Drexel on Monday night. Two wins would give the Hens momentum heading into next Saturday’s home showdown with preseason CAA favorite Towson. “Those are two road games, two tough places to play,” Delaware coach Monte Ross said. “Let’s see what we’re made of.” Tipoff is at noon today. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet. Defending regular-season CAA champion Northeastern (5-13, 2-2) is struggling, partly because of the season-long loss of 2013 third-team All-CAA pick Quincy Ford to a back injury. The Huskies’ best player has been 6-8 St. Francis (Pa.) transfer Scott Eatherton, who is averaging a double-double – 16.8 points and 10.4 rebounds. But the Huskies own a neutral-court win over Georgetown and have prevailed in two of their first four CAA games, including winning by the same four-point margin at James Madison as Delaware had a few days earlier. They also took Drexel to overtime in Philadelphia before losing. Delaware has won here just twice in eight games since Northeastern joined the CAA in 2005-06, with both victories coming in the last three seasons. All but one of those games were decided by single digits. “That’s a tough environment where we’re going. It’s always cold in there – freezing,” Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler said of 103-year-old Matthews Arena, where the NHL’s Bruins and NBA’s Celtics each played their first home games. In addition to being the nation’s oldest active college basketball arena, Matthews is home ice for the Huskies’ hockey teams. The Hens didn’t get to practice in Matthews on Friday because the men’s hockey team was playing Vermont. Instead, they went to the Cabot Physical Education Center, which, in this history-drenched city, is built on the site of baseball’s first World Series in 1903.
Blue Hens' mettle will be tested on road
Delaware Online | Jan 18