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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Richmond Coliseum (11,200) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: CSN-MA, NE, TCN, CAA. Home Record: Hofstra 6-9, Delaware 9-4. Away Record: Hofstra 1-14, Delaware 8-7. Neutral Record: Hofstra 0-1, Delaware 1-2. Conference Record: Hofstra 4-14, Delaware 13-5. Series Record: Hofstra leads, 48-27.
GAMES NOTES: In the second quarterfinal matchup in the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament the seventh-seed Hofstra Pride will go up against the second-seed Delaware Blue Hens at Richmond Coliseum.
Hofstra is coming off its worst season since 1988 when it managed just six wins overall. The Pride were 7-24 against all opponents this season while putting up a 4-14 record in league play. The Pride have lost six of their last seven games coming into this contest with one of those setbacks coming against Delaware. Hofstra is one of seven teams in the conference to never earn a tournament crown.
Delaware is one of those seven teams but this season might be one of its best chances to date at putting an end to that. The Blue Hens were a decent 18-13 overall but had the second-best record against conference competition (13-5). The Blue Hens turned in a polar opposite performance down the stretch win wins in seven of the last eight games to attain the elevated spot in the bracket.
These teams are just one game removed from a 57-56 thriller that went in Delaware's favor. The victory allowed the Blue Hens to sweep the season series and earn their fourth straight win against the Pride. Hofstra still leads the all-time series however by a convincing 48-27 margin.
Hofstra lost another tight contest in the regular-season finale as it fell 67-64 on the road against Towson. Stevie Mejia (22 points) and Moussa Kone (22 points) each put on a scoring clinic but the rest of the team managed just eight field goals.
Kone (6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg) doesn't have numbers that jump off the page but he has been solid in filling in for leading rebounder Stephen Nwaukoni (6.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg) who is listed as questionable for this contest as he continues to deal with a shoulder injury. Mejia (11.9 ppg, 4.1 apg) is the only player on the roster to start all 31 games this season and despite shooting just 37 percent from the field has been one of the team's better scorers. Tara Buie (12.3 ppg) is another double-figure scorer out of the backcourt that has been slowed by erratic shooting (.309). As a team, Hofstra is at the bottom of the CAA in both points (58.6 pg) and field-goal percentage (.384).
A 6-0 spurt in the final minute allowed Delaware to escape with an 82-77 victory over George Mason in its final game of the season. The Blue Hens were the dominant team inside, outscoring the Patriots, 26-16 in the paint. By constantly pounding away inside the Blue Hens also got to the free-throw line often, leading to a 26-14 edge from the foul line.
Delaware is the second-best scoring team in the CAA (69.6 ppg) as it hovers just under 70 points per game. The Blue Hens have relied on one-on-one plays primarily to get the ball in the basket as they are second worst in the conference in assists (9.7 apg). Two of the best players in the conference suit up for the Blue Hens. Devon Saddler (20.2 ppg) is an absolute lightning rod on the offensive end as the conference's leading scorer. Meanwhile, Jamelle Hagins (11.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg) is a double-double waiting to happen as well as a powerful force on defense. Jarvis Threatt (13.1 ppg) provides additional scoring punch out of the backcourt.
There is just too much talent on the floor for the Blue Hens to fall to the Pride. Delaware will ride Saddler and Hagins into the second round.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Delaware 71, Hofstra 63
03/09 10:45:11 ET
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