Northeastern (11-20) vs. Delaware (23-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 9, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Baltimore Arena (14,000) -- Baltimore, Maryland. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Northeastern 4-8, Delaware 10-2. Away Record: Northeastern 4-9, Delaware 11-7. Neutral Record: Northeastern 3-3, Delaware 2-0. Conference Record: Northeastern 7-9, Delaware 14-2. Series Record: Delaware leads, 25-19.
GAME NOTES: With a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final hanging in the balance, the top-seeded Delaware Blue Hens take on the fifth- seeded Northeastern Huskies in the semifinals at Baltimore Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Delaware fended off a feisty Northeastern squad in an 87-76 final in Saturday's quarterfinals. The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Blue Hens, who improved to 23-9 overall with the victory. The 23 wins are the most the team has had since becoming a member of the CAA, and the most since a 24-8 campaign back in 1999-2000.
With a minor upset of fourth-seeded Drexel in the quarterfinals, Northeastern pushed itself to within a game of the title tilt. The Huskies won just three of their final nine games of the regular season, and are still a paltry 11-20 overall.
Delaware swept the season series with the Huskies, earning a 74-70 victory on Jan. 18 and an 80-67 triumph a few weeks later. The Blue Hens have won four of their last five games against Northeastern, and lead the all-time series by a 25-19 margin.
Scott Eatherton scored 23 points and pulled down 15 rebounds and Zach Stahl (19 points, 12 rebounds) had a double-double of his own to lead Northeastern over Drexel. The Huskies connected on 51.9 percent of their shots from the floor in the victory and they owned a 42-31 edge on the glass.
Eatherton can be penciled in for a double-double most nights, as he finished the regular season second in the country in such endeavors with 18. In all, the 6-foot-8 forward is scoring 15.4 ppg and collecting 10.3 rpg, while also blocking 1.8 shots per game. Unfortunately, Eatherton has not received a ton of help in the scoring department, with David Walker (11.7 ppg) the only other player averaging in double figures. Walker finished with 18 points against Drexel. With such limited scoring options, the Huskies are only netting 65.6 ppg on 43.5 percent shooting overall.
The Blue Hens trailed 40-37 at halftime against the Pride, but took control over the final 20 minutes as they shot 63.6 percent from the floor to collect the win. Davon Usher finished with 28 points, eight rebounds and four steals, and Jarvis Threatt was also a key contributor, netting 22 points.
Leading scorer Devon Saddler (20 ppg) was uncharacteristically subdued in the win over Northeastern. Although he did finish with 15 points, he connected on just 4-of-11 from the floor. Fortunately for the Blue Hens there is plenty of firepower on the roster. Usher (19.7 ppg, 6 rpg) and Threatt (18.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.7 apg) are both capable of carrying the team offensively for long stretches, with Threatt also responsible for the team-high in assists. Kyle Anderson (11.1 ppg) and Carl Baptiste (10.8 ppg) lend further scoring punch, but the Blue Hens don't get much from their reserves.
Saddler, Usher and Threatt are nearly scoring as much as Northeastern is all together. Expect the high-octane Blue Hens to use their major edge on offense en route to a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Delaware 79, Northeastern 69
03/09 10:21:34 ET