Newark, DE - Delaware State has claimed First State bragging rights for this season with a 73-67 overtime win over the University of Delaware in a men's basketball thriller at the Carpenter Center this afternoon.
The Hornets won their second straight game to improve to 5-5 this season. DSU won the contest between the state's only Division I programs for the second time in four years. It was also the Hornets' first victory in six games at the Carpenter Center.
Delaware State trailed 60-57 when Amere May nailed a three-point shot with 4.8 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. May had seven points on three-of-five shooting from the field in the game.
The Hornets outscored Delaware 13-7 in the extra period.
The contest featured 13 lead changes and 11 ties. It was the second overtime game in the 13 meetings between the teams.
"It says a lot about the character of our guys to defeat a good team such as Delaware on its home court," said Delaware State head coach Greg Jackson, who recorded his 186th win with the Hornets and second in five tries vs. Delaware. He has two of the Hornets' three wins in the series with the Hens.
"The guys really executed our game plan, especially on defense. I couldn't be more proud of the way we battled to pull out this win.
Tahj Tate led the Hornets with a game-high 24 points. Tate, who missed last year's Delaware contest, has tallied 24 points in each of the last two games. He also led the Hornets with 10 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season.
Tyshawn Bell came off the bench to add 15 for DSU. Bell was 4-for-5 from the field, including 3-of-3 from three-point territory. He was also perfect on four free throw attempts.
Devon Sadler was high man for Delaware with 16 points. Jamelle Hagins had 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Hens.
In the overtime, Bell hit a three-pointer with 4:23 left to give the Hornets a 63-60 lead.
Tate and Marques Oliver hit free throws to give DSU a 65-60 lead with 2:30 remaining in the extra session.
After a three-point play by Hagins pulled the Hens to within 65-63, Tate hit a lay-up to stretch the Hornets' lead to 67-63 with 1:20 left in overtime.
The Hornets hit six-of-eight free throws in the last 52 seconds to seal the win. Oliver hit two foul shots with 12 seconds left in the overtime to give DSU a 73-65 lead.
Delaware led by as many as eight points in the first half, but the Hornets rallied to hold a 31-29 advantage at the break.
The score 37-37 when the Hornets ran off eight straight points to take control. Tate hit a lay-up and three-point shot during the spurt, which was capped off by a Bell three-pointer to give DSU a 45-37 lead with 12:20 left in the second half.
Delaware answered with a 14-6 run, and tied the game at 51-51 on a free throw by Josh Brinkley with 7:43 remaining in regulation.
Bell gave Delaware State 55-54 lead when he hit two free throws with 3:48 left in the second half. He added a lay up on the Hornets' next possession to stretch the lead to 57-54 with 3:00 left.
Delaware responded by scoring the next six points, and pulled ahead 60-57 on two free throws by Terrell Rogers with 14 seconds left in regulation to set up May's game tying three-pointer.
"We have asked a lot of Amere and he has been working extremely hard for us this season," said Jackson. "He's a great shooter, and I'm not surprised that he hit a big shot in the clutch for us."
The Hornets were 23-for-53 from the field (43.4%), including 7-of-17 from three point territory (41.2%).
DSU forced Delaware into 24-of-69 shooting from the field (34.8%). The Hens hit just four-of-19 three-point shots (21.1%).
Delaware State also won the rebound battle 45-39.
The Hornets return to action next Saturday (Dec. 15) at Penn State. Game time is 2:00 p.m. DSU's next home game is Jan. 23, 2013 against Howard (7:30 p.m.)