Dover, Del. (Jan. 20, 2018) --- Delaware State held a brief second half lead after trailing by 13 at the break, but fell behind again and never recovered in an 85-78 loss to MEAC leader Bethune-Cookman in Memorial Hall today.
The Wildcats won their fifth straight game to improve to 11-9 overall and 5-0 in the MEAC to hold the league lead. The Hornets dropped their 15th in a row to fall to 2-19 and 0-6.
Brandon Tabb led four Bethune-Cookman players in double-figures with 26 points, highlighted by five three-point field goals (5-10) and 7-for-7 shooting at the free throw line. Isaiah Bailey came off the bench to add 23 points (14-15 FTs), while Shawntrez Davis tallied 12 and Malik Maitland 10 for the Wildcats.
Freshman Marquis Collins was high scorer for Delaware State with 22 points, giving him 46 in the last two games. Collins was 9-for-18 from the field, including 4-of-7 on three-point shots. He’s the first DSU players with back-to-back 20-point games this season.
Simon Okolue scored 16 points and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds off the bench for the Hornets. Okolue was 7-for-8 from the field to raise his team-leading shooting percentage to .593 for the season (89-for-150).
Bethune-Cookman hit 13-of-25 first half shots (52%), including six three-pointers (6-for-15), en route to a 42-29 lead at intermission.
Delaware State scored the first nine points of the second half, and pulled to within 42-38 on a three-pointer by Pinky Wiley with 17:17 left to play.
The Hornets outscored the Wildcats over the next three minutes, and tied the game at 46 on a lay-up by Artem Tavakalyn at the 14:23 mark of the second half.
DSU led for its only time in the game, 48-47, when Joe Lewis hit two free throws with 13:29 remaining.
Bethune-Cookman responded by outscoring the Hornets 14-2 over the next five minutes, and opened up a 61-50 lead on a jumper by Maitland with 8:05 left to play.
Delaware State responded with a 9-0 run, and cut the Wildcats’ lead to 61-59 on a jumper by Lewis with 5:50 to go.
BCU scored the next seven points to stretch its lead to 68-59 . The Hornets could get no closer than six points the rest of the way.
Bethune-Cookman was 24-for-49 from the field (49.0%), including 9-of-24 on three-point shots (37.5%).
Delaware State shot (46.2%) from the field, connecting on 30-of-65 shots from the floor and 7-of-15 from beyond the arc (46.7%).
The Hornets won the rebound battle 34-32 and had fewer assists than the Wildcats (17-16).
Delaware State returns to action on Monday (Jan. 22) at MEAC rival Morgan State. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 in Baltimore, Md.
The Hornets are back home next Sat. (Jan. 27) against Savannah State (4:00 p.m.).