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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lady Hornets Bowling 2X MEAC Champions

Even with a new coach, the results remain the same for the Delaware State Lady Hornets Bowling team as they are the two time MEAC Tournament Bowling Champions.

The Lady Hornets were the number one seed in the MEAC Bowling Tournament with wins over Bethune Cookman (first round), Norfolk State (second round), University of Maryland Eastern Shore (third round).

In the championship round, both teams went back and forth in Baker play. Tied at three games, the Lady Hawks topped DSU 206-205 to force another match in the double-elimination bracket.

With everything on the line, the lady hornets didn't panic as both teams went back and forth again until the fifth and decided match has started. It appears to be a best of three as the lady hornets won the fifth match but UMES refused to quick to win the sixth match and forced a the seventh and final match.

Lady Hornets dug deep and pull off the victory in the final match to the MEAC Tournament Champions.

I am so proud of the lady hornets for what they accomplish this year. Also for new coach Ricki Williams-Ellison its was a wonderful start to her coaching career during her first year as lady hornets bowling coach.

Now the lady hornets are heading for the NCAA Bowling Tournament for the second straight year whoever their opponent is, the Lady Hornets will be ready to pick up where they left off. Last year, the lady hornets posted their first NCAA tournament victory and went on to the final four only to lose in the semi-finals to national champion Nebraska.

This year the lady will be stinging down pins and bowling for strikes in en route to hopefully become National Champions.

Stingers: The Hornets are the third team to win back-to-back MEAC bowling titles in the 11-year history of the tournament, joining Maryland-Eastern Shore (2005-08) and North Carolina A&T (2001-04).

This also marks the first time that a Delaware State team in any sport has captured consecutive MEAC championships since women's indoor track & field earned five straight titles from 1984 to 1988.

Once again congratulations to the Delaware State Lady Bowling team for becoming MEAC Bowling Tournament Champions. Good luck in the NCAA Tournament. HORNETS!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hornets Basketball Season Review (Men's Edition)

Lets just called the Hornets men's basketball season the almost-redeem team. The reason why I say that is because last season the Hornets only had eight wins all season, six of them where conference. Plus they had a lot of junior transfers but that plan didn't work and Hornets didn't play with a lot of heart. That can frustrated for Coach Greg Jackson, Sr.

This year is way more different. The Hornets was protecting homecourt, their defense was like the Detroit Pistons, find ways to score, keep opponents frustrated when they cant get the ball also letting the Delaware State crowd get into game by making more noise. Plus the Hornets proved doubters wrong because the Hornets were picked to finished ninth in the MEAC Conference. Instead they finished second. The reason why I say almost redeem season is to what happen in the MEAC Tournament but I will get those details later.

For now lets take a stroll down memory lane as we recap the 2009-2010 Hornets basketball season.

Home court advantage:
Hornets started the season 4-1

The Hornets started season fresh and was tested tough at home by Division I, Division II, and Division III opponents.

DSU 67, Holy Family 57
Hornets witnessed the debut of freshman Alibaba Odd, who became a fan favorite in Memorial Hall when he scored 15 points vs Holy Family. The Hornets defense forced Holy Family to commit 20 turnovers which result in 17 Hornets points off of turnovers.

DSU 60, Wilmington College 44
For the third straight year, Delaware State continued their winning ways against Goldey-Beacom's rival Wilmington College as three different Hornets scored in double figures but its wasn't their shooting. It was their defense and their free-throws that gave the Hornets the victory. Delaware State forced Wilmington College to commit 26 turnovers that result in 23 Hornets points. Also the Hornets made 85% from the free throw line in order to make up for their shooting troubles.

Maine 59, DSU 56
The Hornets almost did everything right: shooting 50% from the field, 46% from three point land, 75% from the free throw line, and used their full court press through most of the game. There were two mistakes that cost the Hornets the game. The first mistake was that they were get out rebounded by Maine's big men by getting second chance points. Second mistake the Hornets couldn't score a bucket in the final 2:47 of the second half.

DSU 59, Mary Washington 43
It wasn't the Hornets starters that helped win the game, it was the bench players that gave the Hornets momentum. Despite Marcus Neal performance (17 points and five three pointers), the bench gave a huge lift by scoring 29 points and the defense kept Mary Washington in check.

DSU 75, University of Delaware 67
It was the first state rivalry that everyone has been waiting for. For the first time since 2000 Delaware State and University of Delaware were duking it out on the hardwood and both teams didn't let the fans disappointed. The atmosphere was full of Hornet red all around Memorial Hall with very few Blue Hen fans. None the less it was the Frisco Sandidige Show scoring a career high 26 points. It also a free throw shooting contest but the Hornets were going to the free throw 40 times making 30 of those free throws. That's a lot of free throws.

Non-Conference Games Full Brick Walls; Hornets lose six straight games
The Hornets continued their non-conference schedule this time on the road trip and on the wrong side of the tracks scoring only 49 points a game. The one game that would've been a Hornets victory was against University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Delaware state had chances to win but missing key shots down the stretch cost the Hornets the game as they couldn't secured their first conference win. Other than that the shots were not fallen as the Hornets played tough teams like Arizona State, UCLA, Ohio State, and Arkansas.

I give Hornets credit versus Ohio State because they stay in the game for most of the 1st half. The Buckeye crowd was booing their own team and the Hornets did whatever to prevent Ohio State from scoring a lot of points. However without Evan Turner due to injury the Buckeyes manage some key runs on offense and prevent the hornets from making easy shots to pull ahead to win the game.

Then on the day before the New Years Eve, the Hornets were back home against Lehigh University. DSU came from behind and Jay Threatt tied the game with under 20 seconds left in the 2nd half. With time running out Threatt had a chance to be the hero instead he tried to draw the foul and the layup was missed followed by a missed put back by Marcus Neal as the game went into overtime. In the overtime period, the Hornets struggle on offense and defense as they were outscored 13-7 in a 73-66 defeat.

A Big Test to Proved Doubters Wrong
Now its was the moment of truth the MEAC Conference Schedule. The Hornets started the month of January 6-1 with making huge home wins over Winston-Salem State (at the buzzer), South Carolina State, and Hampton (snowstorm game).

Also the road wins over Coppin State (on ESPNU), Bethune-Cookman, and FAMU. The Hornets only lost came at the hand of Morgan State. DSU had a 15 point lead until the final seven minutes when Morgan State rallied to win to game thanks to a Hornet collapse.

In February and March 4, was a nothing but crazy defense, great plays on offense, fun memories and not so good memories.

The best games were the four game home stead where Delaware State went 3-1 with with wins over Bethune-Cookman, FAMU, and Coppin State. The most exciting game was the rematch between DSU and Morgan State. Morgan State tried to take the Hornet crowd out of the game but late in the second half the Hornets rally but fell short on a missed three pointer.

Last but certainly not least is the final home game of the year when we say goodbye to our Hornet seniors Frisco Sandidge, Marcus Neal, Greg Smith, and Kris Douse.

The Hornets were playing University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Even though the Hornets 57-37 win, it was the war of words between Hornets fans and Hawks fans. Hawk fans and cheerleaders tried to get the best of Hornet fans but DSU fans made the best noise with their chants, the trash talking and cheerleaders.
A Roller Coaster Ride in the MEAC Tournament
In the quarterfinals the Hornets were playing against Bethune-Cookman. The Hornets had commanding lead but the Wildcats refuse to quit in the second half as they made key buckets and free throws to rally. DSU struggle to survive but made sure Bethune-Cookman didn't win the game.

During the semi-finals against South Carolina State, the Hornets shooting was very cold as ice and the defense barely kept them in the game. During the final eight minutes of the second half, the Hornets rally making key buckets, free throws and picking up the defense as the Hornets take the lead. However, South Carolina State forced overtime with a game-tying three pointer to forced overtime.

During the overtime session, both teams traded baskets as the Hornets took a slight four point lead but South Carolina State made key free throws and rebounds to end the game and putting a heartbreak to the Hornets season.
It was a good season for the Delaware State Hornets basketball season. Their defense was great but their offense has got to score more points. this year the Hornets only average 58.5 points per game. If the Hornets don't score in the 60s or 70s next year, there will problems come next year for the Hornets.

If the Hornets can keep up their intensive defense, then the Hornets will able win a whole lot of games come next season.

Now that our four seniors are graduating, its up to Chad Wilson, Marques Oliver, Jay Threatt, and Trevor Welcher to pick up the pieces of where they left off. Will the Hornets continue their winning ways or will it be a sluggish year in 2010-2011 for Greg Jackson senior and the Hornets? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Roller Coaster MEAC Tournament for the Hornets

For the Delaware State Hornets men's basketball team it was both determenation and heartbreaking.

Last year the Hornets were one and done in a first round of the MEAC Tournament against Hampton University.

This year the Hornets played with heart and intensity to become oh so close from reaching the MEAC Championship game.

In the quarterfinals versus Bethune-Cookman, the Hornets were off to a great start shooting five three pointers, forcing Bethune-Cookman to commit 11 turnovers and fitting the right notes lead by Marcus Neal and have a 32-22 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, the roller coaster started. The Hornets had 43-24 lead until Bethune-Cookman began chipping away the lead by hitting their shots and making a 17 of their 21 free throws. I was saying to myself oh-no this can't be happening.

Delaware State didn't panic until the last 10 seconds of the game when Jay Threatt miss both free throws and Wildcats had the final possession with a chance to win the game or send it into overtime. The problem was that Stanley Elliot of the Wildcats missed a short jumper, and Alexander Starling's tip-in was disallowed after an officials' review determined that time had expired.

Hornets players and coaches were so disappointed after the game because they blew a 19 point lead only to win by only two points.

During the semi-finals against South Carolina State, the Hornets were having trouble shooting the ball and making free throws. Delaware State was fourtune to be down by only seven points at halftime.

During the first 12 minutes of the second half the Hornets were just shooting low percentage shots and the defense couldn't stop the speedy plays of the Bulldogs and just like that they were down 49-34.

I was keeping track of the game on MEAC and and I was praying for the Hornets to make a huge spark and start a rally.

Just like that during the final eight minutes the Hornets rallied with their defense, making high percentage shots, and making free throws when it counted.

The best one of all is when Delaware State made a 17-2 run which include Marcus Neal and Frisco Sandidge converting three-point plays during the Delaware State rally.

Hornets stretch the lead to to 55-51 with 80 seconds left in regulation.

I was on the edge on my seat hoping that Delaware State will finished the job and play Morgan State in round three instead it went down like crazy.

After Trevor Welcher made two free throws the Hornets were 20 seconds away from a date with destiny until South Carolina State made game tying three pointer and I was like oh no here we go again.

Jay Threatt was running down the court trying to make the game winning basket and draw contact, instead Threatt was called for the offensive foul.

The Bulldogs had five seconds to get a shot off to either tied or win the game.

South Carolina State appeared to win the gave at the buzzer in regulation when a desperation shot near half court by Brandon Smalls went high off the rim and through the net, but the Bulldog bench had called for a timeout before the shot.

So overtime began and I was hoping again that the Hornets would finished the job. I don't know how many times I said that.

Both teams traded baskets until South Carolina State took the lead and pulled away with a victory thanks to the Hornets missing several key buckets and free throws.

It was devastating and heartbroken at the same time. Give Hornets credit, they fought hard to come back and had several chances to put the game away.

However, missing shots, free throws, bad defense, and falling behind through most of the game cost the Hornets the game and the season.

Rest assure the Delaware State Hornets will be back better than ever in the MEAC Tournament.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lady Hornets Played With Heart in a Losing Effort

I give the lady hornets credit, they fought hard all night versus the University of Maryland of Eastern Shore.

During the lady hornets 58-55 heartbreaking lost on Senior Night the lady hornets we're falling behind all game until early in the second half when the lady hornets took a 10 point lead.

Lets think about it, throughout most of the season the lady hornets were falling behind early but manges to rallied, take the lead, and struggle to get back rhythm.

The lady hornets showed heart all game long, with defense, making some good shots and free throws.

The only thing that doomed the Lady Hornets was the Hawks defense and the let down of the second half by not scoring some good buckets when it matters and letting UMES getting to the free throw line.

Selena Galloway and the Lady Hornets wanted to win so badly because if the lady hornets won the game, they would have gained a lot of momentum for the first round of the MEAC Tournament.

The second half started with the lady hornets scored 15 straight point resulting a 22-1 run. In the final 12 mminutes, the lady hornets were in a six mintue drought until the final four mintues of the game when they had one final push before running out of time.

I feel the lady hornets pain all season with all the injuries and a very struggling offense the lady hornets had always send all their MEAC oppentents the same message: "We show heart and never quit."

That attitude will helped the lady hornets heading into Tuesday's MEAC Tournament win or lose and that's the bottom line.

The Battle of School Spirit: Delaware State University vs University of Maryland Eastern Shore

It was the last home game of the season and what a great way to end a winning season than to have the Delaware State Hornets play against another MEAC rival the University of Maryland Eastern-Shore.

This was more than just a game in the Hornets Nest, it was all who had the most school pride to help guide their team to victory.

I arrived at the lady hornets game first and I saw a long line of Hawks fans trying to get tickets to the game and I'm like when will the Hornet fans will show up?

I kept forgetting the DSU students had classes, rehearsals, jobs, and homework.

None the less I was enjoying the ladies game for a while until UMES fans starting to make a lot of noise and the UMES cheerleaders and dancers got into the act as well throughout most of the ladies game.

I wasn't going to sit there and let UMES take over the Hornets house so I begin standing up and give UMES an earful to get their attention. Quickly the battle had started.

During the first eight minutes of the second half the Lady Hornets had a double digit lead before UMES called timeout. I yelled at UMES fans yelling, "Why yall so quiet?!!!"

After the UMES time out, the lady Hawks chipped away the lady hornets lead and bringing the Hawks crowd back into game for the final 12 minutes of the second half.

As time went down on the Lady Hornets senior night, Hornet fans were slowly coming in filling in the seats to see if the lady hornets rally one more time. All of a sudden I became horsed so I decided to relax for the rest of the second half with the DSU Die Hards.

When the men's game started the atmosphere was loud, rockin', crunk, and down right crazy as fans from both schools duke it out for supremacy.

When UMES did a little chant "We're going make some noise," me and other Hornet fans repeat the same chant they did everytime the Hornets had the basketball. Hawk fans didn't like it one bit so they bring their flyswatters waving them in the air. Luckly for us Hornets fans we took one their flyswatters and threw it in the garbage.

There was more were that came as the war of words escalates in a heated battle.

During one the media time outs of the men's game the UMES Cheerleaders came on to mid-court to do a cheer but Hornets fans was booing so loud you can barley hear what the Hawks cheerleaders was saying.

Hawks fans up the ante by remixing the DSU I thought you knew what chant with UMES but DSU fans countered it very quick with our own DSU chant.

Don't get me wrong but almost most of the fans didn't pay attention to the game or the scoreboard for that matter.

All night long Hornets fans were all over UMES when we chanted "You Suck!!!"

When the second half started, the crowd intensify but soon the Hornet fans took over for the remainder of the game. I was trying to figure out what joke or chant the other Hornet fans were saying to the UMES male Cheerleader. Whatever the joke was the crowd got a big laugh and pointed him out like he got embarrassed on Showtime at the Appollo.

The Hornets fans were greeted to a treat when DSU's Roy from The Approaching Storm Marching Band took his pep band uniform off and show his cheerleading outfit and did conservative jump spits that got the crowd jumpin and loud.

As always we wrap up the night with the Get Up Crackhead song by the band that had the whole gym rockin as the Hornet crowd party the rest of the game and after the game as well as UMES fans sat quietly with nothing else to say.

This was the most fun game since the DSU/Morgan State game back on February 17 and the DSU/University of Delaware game back on December 1.

I'm glad over 1,400 fans had a great time battling against Hawks fans and hopefully next year DSU will bring more fun to the basketball games at a whole different level.

Hornets Defense Held UMES In Check

Thursday night was momentum time for the Delaware State Hornets men's basketball team, and a great way to build momentum is during Senior Night at Memorial Hall versus the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

During the Hornets 57-37 victory, the Hornets offense were making shots left and right shooting 52% from the field. At the same time, the Hornets defense made sure the Hawks can only get to the free throw line one time and forcing them to committed 11 first half turnovers. The Hornets defense made six steals in the first half to make UMES night problematic.

In the second half, the Hornets took their defense to a whole new level by blocking shots, stealing the ball nine times, and forcing the UMES to committed 11 more turnovers, shoot 40% from the field with one assist and poor free throw shooting.

This was the fewest points the Hornets had ever let their opponent score this season.

Plus defense lead to good offense as the Hornets dominated points off of turnovers with 22 points of the teams 57 points.

Even though the Hawks had the crowd hype up most the game, UMES couldn't help themselves as the Hornets outscored UMES 15-1 in the final 3:11 to win the game thanks to some key free throws down the stretch.

Now that the Hornets secured the number two seed, lets see if the Hornet men can do a better job in this year's MEAC Tournament compared to last year.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lady Hornets Kicking Off the Season 4-0

During the first four games of the 2010 softball season, the Delaware State Lady Hornets Softball team is off to great start with a record of 4-0.

During the first four games of the season the Lady Hornets has scored nine or more runs this season.

No wonder this team is batting .423 with 18 stolen bases, 60 hits, 58 runs scored, 43 RBI's, and a slugging percentage .549.

Plus there are nine lady hornets who are batting .300 or better.

The lady hornets are following the Hornets baseball team formula of scoring more runs than home runs.

Now that March is here, the lady hornets, who predicted to finished third in the MEAC Conference, has a tall order ahead of them with University of Delaware and three classic tournament games to play.

Lets see if the Lady Hornets can continue their winning ways come April and May when the MEAC tournament starts.

Good Start for Hornets Baseball So Far

Batter up!!! Hornets baseball season has started and already Delaware State is off to good start to kick off the 2010 season.

Through March 2 (six games), the Hornets, who were predicted to finished fourth in the MEAC Conference, are playing .500 baseball and putting up good numbers in the MEAC Conference as they continue to strive for a winning season.

The Hornets are second in batting average (.262), fourth in slugging percentage (.387), number one in on base percentage (.429), number one in runs score (61), third in hits (62), number one in RBI's (49), second in doubles (11), fourth in total bases (82), first in walks (40), first in hit by pitches (13), first in sac-bunts (8), first in the batting average with the bases loaded (.400), and first with two-out RBI's (16).

Wow!!! That's a lot stats but hey the Hornets showed the MEAC conference that do a lot a hitting and scoring besides home runs.

Even though their pitching is not too great through six games (5.68 ERA), I'm sure they get that in order as the season continues in to the month of March with massive home games versus Temple, Fairfield, St. Peters, Georgetown, and Savannah State.

Also with key road for Hornets baseball, Delaware State vs University of Delaware March 16 in Newark, Delaware.