For those who was at the Route 1 Rivalry game between DSU and UD December 1, we had a very early Christmas present. For those who miss it or heard it on the radio, this was the instate basketball game for the ages inside the Hornets Nest we called Memorial Hall.
During the Hornets 75-67 win over the Blue Hens, some questions came to my mind before tip-off:
1. How will will the Hornets fare against a Blue Hen basketball that hasn't played each other since 2000?
2. How many Hornets/Blue Hen fans will show up?
3. Which team will have gain momentum towards the rest of the season?
I have three answers to three questions.
My first answer is that the Hornets were ready for the challenge even though they trailed at halftime 25-23. Second half, different story, the Hornets were on fire shooting 58% from the field, 57% from 3-point land and going to the free throw line 37 times, making 28. The Hornets outscored the Blue Hens 52-42 in the second half.
Also the Hornets defense step up in a huge way with their swarming defense forcing the Blue Hen offense to make 20 turnovers which turned into 22 Hornets points to go along with 13 steals.
The Blue Hens defense was no match for Frisco Sandidge who scored a career high 26 points and Marcus Neal had 16 points to go along with his four three pointers. Plus
Most of the second half was a DSU free throw marathon as the Blue Hens were depressed to rally but they ran out of time by continuing to foul Hornet players left and right. Think out this Frisco went to the free throw line 16 times, Alibada Odd 10 times, Jay Threatt six times, while the rest of the Hornets roster went to the line a combine eight times. Wow we thought this game would never end. The Hornets made 20 of their 24 free throws in the final 2:56 of the second half.
My second answer over 1,300 fans packed up the Memorial Hall gym full of Hornets fans and only like 10 blue hen fans showed up. The Hornet fans was loud and rockin' the whole game. It almost became a war of words between Hornet fans and UD fans.
Speaking of war it was almost became one when UD player Jawan Carter fouled Jay Threatt with 20 seconds left with the game. Jay didn't like the foul that Carter commit but cooler heads prevail with both Carter and Alphonso Dawson received technical fouls as Hornets fans continued to chant and trash talk UD out the building.
Yep the First State Rivalry has been renewed not only in football but in basketball as well.
My third and final answer is that the Hornets has gain a huge momentum heading towards their December road trip starting with their conference game with University of Maryland Eastern-Shore this Saturday. Who knows the Hornets could have a good season ahead but its too early to tell at this point. If they keep their intensity, they could have a good season.
Next year will be Delaware State vs University of Delaware at the Bob Carpenter Center.
For now the Hornets will enjoy this win as DSU proved to UD that Delaware State University is now the Hornets State.