WASHINGTON — Squandering a chance to improve its positioning in the conference tournament by losing both of their final two regular season games at home, Delaware could not have started tournament season with any less momentum in trying to keep its season alive. Leaving the confines of home and heading down south 90 minutes on I-95 is proving to be the tonic the Blue Hens needed, as they now stand one win away from ultimate redemption.
The Blue Hens pulled off their second seed upset in as many days at the 2022 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, knocking off regular season co-champion and No. 1 seed Towson 69-56 in the first semifinal on Monday. Four players scored in double figures for the Blue Hens, led by senior guard Kevin Anderson, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half.
Delaware will be playing in the Colonial final for the first time in 2014, and it will play the other regular season co-champion, No. 2 seed UNC Wilmington, on Tuesday evening.
After a nip-and-tuck first few minutes, Delaware used a couple of big scoring spurts to establish control in the first half, including an 11-0 run that doubled the Blue Hens’ lead, 32-16, with just under five minutes on the clock. Jameer Nelson Jr., who scored five points during an 8-0 Blue Hens run earlier in the half, scored all 11 of his points in the game’s first 20 minutes.
The Tigers cut their deficit to seven at halftime, 35-28, and then went on a 7-0 run at the beginning of the second half to pull within two at 37-35. That’s as close as Towson would get for the rest of the game, however, as the Blue Hens slowly grew the lead to double digits once again, reaching that mark after back-to-back threes by Anderson and Ebby Asamoah gave Delaware a 54-44 lead with 8:14 left.
Towson, who will now prepare for the NIT, also had four players score in double figures, led by Charles Thompson’s 13 points.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday’s semifinal games, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Clifford Ray Williams. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 20 pictures in total.