skip navigation

Holden, Delaware survive Towson in overtime, 67-64

01/14/2015, 6:00pm EST
By Mitchell Northam


Recruiting News:

HS Coverage:

Mitchell Northam (@primetimeMitch)

NEWARK, DEL – It was a sight seen often on Wednesday night at the Bob Carpenter center.

A Delaware player was headed to the foul line, and with about 20 seconds remaining in overtime, it was Kory Holden headed to the line for the Blue Hens to extend their lead against Towson.

Holden hit just one of the two shots, but it was enough to put the lead at three points. Towson couldn’t convert from behind the arc on their final possession and the Delaware Blue Hens beat the Towson Tigers 67-64 to earn their second straight conference win.

“Free throws are always going to be big, especially in league play,” said Holden, who went 11-of-14 from the line.” Free throws are key on the road and at home. We probably shoot 100 free throws after practice, every practice. We know that free throws are big for us.”

The Blue Hens (3-13 overall, 2-3 CAA) made 26 of their 39 free throws on the night, making more shots from the foul line than the Tigers (8-10; 2-3 CAA) attempted as they went 15-of-24 on the night. Shots from there were especially important down the stretch and in the waning moments of the second half and overtime it was the only way the Blue Hens could get points.

From the 4:47 mark in the second half to the dime dished out by Holden that ended in a dunk from Marvin King-Davis that grabbed the lead with 1:07 to play in overtime, the Blue Hens didn’t successfully convert a field goal, but scored 17 points, all from the line.

“We learned – one, not to panic – and two, that you have to close out games,” Blue Hens’ head coach Monté Ross said. “We closed it out on the free throw line. I thought some guys stepped up and made some huge free throws.

The game started off in a sluggish way for the Blue Hens as they fell behind the Tigers early by seven points due to a lack of aggression on the boards, missed shots and the sleep walking-type play from their guards. But Kyle Anderson woke the Blue Hens up and halted a 9-2 Towson run when he hit a three pointer that would spark Delaware to go on a run of their own.

Minutes later, Holden willed the Blue Hens to their first lead of the game when he was on the other end of an assist, taking a backdoor pass from Cazmon Hayes to the rack for a pair of points.

Holden almost single-handedly kept the Blue Hens in the game in the first half as he scored 12 points while grabbing two rebounds and dishing out three assists in the first half of play. He finished with 24 points – which led all scorers – to go with six assists, four rebounds and a steal.

The Salisbury, Md. native barely rested – playing 43 minutes – and that was in large part due to the fact that he was a necessity to have on the court down the stretch.

“The pace of the game was a lot slower than a normal game, so we were able to get away with it,” Ross said.

“We couldn’t take him out in the second half because he was the only one really scoring for us, so we had to ride him and keep him in there and watch him a little bit. He stepped up and did the necessary things for us to win the game.”

As regulation came to a close, Holden went one-on-one with fellow freshman and Towson guardByron Hawkins, who finished with 11 points and two assists, but it wasn’t the first time he had encountered Hawkins and he knew what he had to do.

“I did know from the Crab Ball Classic (in Baltimore, Maryland in 2014) that he could score some buckets,” Holden said. “I just knew we had to play up on him and force him to go right.”

On a Towson possession that could have put a dagger in the Blue Hens, Holden guarded Hawkins closely as he missed a three pointer that would have put them up by four points. On the other end, Hawkins lost Holden as drove to the rim to pass to Maurice Jeffers, who was fouled and hit the game-tying free throw.

In overtime the Blue Hens went eight-of-ten from the line and Holden’s assist to King-Davis and then a free throw put the game on ice as the Blue Hens won just their third game this season.

Still, though their out-of-conference record is shaky, the Blue Hens are right in the middle of the pack of the CAA. Their sights are set on winning that again.

“Everything is right there in front of us,” Ross said. “As far as our non-conference record, unfortunately – and our league doesn’t want me to say this – but it really doesn’t matter because you’re not getting an at-large bid from our league. Everything is focused on what you do in conference play.”

Delaware’s next conference game is a big one. Drexel – a longtime rival – is next on the schedule.

“No disrespect to Towson in any way, it is a rivalry, but it doesn’t compare to Delaware versus Drexel,” Ross said. “You throw out the records – no matter how good they are or how good we are – it’s a true rivalry game and it’s always been fun. It will be fun on Saturday and our guys will get some good preparation for that game.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get to .500 in the league and that will be a big step for us.”

Recruiting News:

HS Coverage:

Tag(s): Home  Archives  Mitchell Northam