Newark, Del. (Dec. 19, 2018) --- Kevin Larkin hit a follow-up basket with 3.4 seconds left to give Delaware State a thrilling 73-71 victory over the University of Delaware at the Carpenter Center this evening. The score was 71-71 when DSU’s Pinky Wiley missed a three-point attempt with eight seconds left. Larkin ran down the ball after the miss and drove to the basket for the winning lay-up. Delaware’s Ithiel Horton misfired on a desperation three-point attempt from near mid-court as time expired to seal the victory for the Hornets.
Delaware State snapped a three-game losing streak to the Hens to improve to 3-8 this season. The victory was also the first against a Division I opponent for the Hornets this season, and for new head coach Eric Skeeters.
“It’s fitting that Kevin, a Delaware guy, hit the game-winning shot,” said Skeeters of Larkin, a native of Georgetown, Del., and a Sussex Tech High School product. “Everyone contributed to the win. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys for how hard they played and fought through a great deal of adversity.”
Delaware State led 71-64 after a steal and lay-up by Saleik Edwards with 2:04 left to play.
Delaware answered with a 7-0 run, and tied the score at 71 on a three-pointer by Horton with 18 seconds remaining.
The winning shot capped off another stellar performance for Larkin, who led the Hornets with 22 points and 13 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season, each in the last four games.
“Coach drew up a play for me on our final possession, but Pinky had a good look and took the shot,“ Larkin said. “It’s drilled in us to fight hard for every rebound and loose ball, so that’s what I did. I was in good positon to pick and ball and get to the basket.”
Larkin led all players with 12 points at the half to propel the Hornets to a 38-34 advantage at the break.
The score was 38-38 when the Hornets began to pull away. Edwards caped off a 9-2 run with a three-pointer to give DSU a 47-40 lead at the 14:33 mark of the second half.
The Hens rallied to tie the score at 53-53 after Eric Carter hit two free throws with 10 minutes left to play.
The Hornets never trailed in the second half, although there were three ties in the final 20 minutes.
Delaware State was outshot overall in the game, but took advantage of the three-point shot to earn the win.
The Hornets were 26-for-63 overall from the field (39.7%), but 13-of-27 on three-point attempts (48.1%).
The Hens shot 43.1% overall for the game, hitting on 25 of their 58 shots from floor, but just six- of-30 from beyond the arc (20.0%).
Each team had 37 rebounds, while the Hornets recorded 11 turnovers to 12 for Delaware.
“It’s tough to win a Division I game on the road, but our guys took on the challenge and were rewarded with the victory,” said Skeeters. “We will savor this win for now, but we have one more non-conference game in a few days (Dec. 22 at Weber State) to tune-up for our MEAC schedule.”
Edwards added 18 points for the Hornets, highlighted by four three-point field goals.
Delaware’s Carter led all players with 23 points on eight-of-10 shooting from the field, while Matt Veretto added 13 points for the Hens, who dropped their second game in a row to fall to 8-5 this season.
The Hornets have won three of the last four meetings with Delaware at the Carpenter Center, although the Hens hold a 14-5 lead in the series between the state’s two NCAA Division I teams … Larkin has scored 85 points (21.2 ppg) and grabbed 40 rebounds (10.0 pg) in the Hornets’ last four games … DSU freshman forward Ronald Lucas came off the bench to match his career-high of eight points on two-for-two shooting from the field, each a three-pointer, and two free throws on two attempts … Delaware State led for 29-minutes-19 seconds in the game … there were nine lead changes in the first half and eight ties in the game … Edwards has 15 three-pointers in the last four contests … Wiley came off the bench to notch a game-high seven assists for the Hornets.