Tom Zamonski (@tomzamonski)
Jamelle Hagins and Delaware pulled out a victory on Delaware’s senior day by knocking off George Mason 82-77.
“I think the biggest thing for us was that these seniors have done so much for us–Jamelle, Josh (Brinkley) and Will Townsville–and what better way but to send them off with a victory,” Delaware coach Monté Ross said after the game. “That was the pregame speech. Let’s honor them the correct way by winning the game. That is how you honor guys that have given so much of themselves to your program and I was just so happy to be able to do that for them.”
Playing his last game at home, Hagins collected his 34th double-double of his Delaware career. The senior pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and netted 13 points.
“It feels great. I definitely wanted to go out with a winning game,” Hagins said of winning his final home game, “and to get another double-double, that helps too. My parents being here to see us get a win in this building, it is a great feeling. The crowd was lovely today so it was great.”
Hagins has had memorable career as a Blue Hen. The senior sits atop the program’s all-time blocks and rebounds list while scoring over 1,000 points.
Devon Saddler scored a game-high 22 points for the Blue Hens. The CAA’s top point-getter has registered double figures in scoring for the 37 th straight game.
“I wanted it bad,” Saddler said of getting the win for the seniors. “All the times we had to wake up at 6 a.m. and run for me, run for other guys on the team and when guys Jamelle and Josh had class…it means a lot to us.”
Joining Saddler in reaching the 20-point mark, Jarvis Threatt finished with 20 points. The sophomore was 13-14 from the free throw line and has reached double figures in scoring for the eighth straight game.
Threatt echoed the importance of getting the win for the seniors and one in particular.
“It was senior night and we wanted to send our seniors off in the right way especially Josh because he is such a big piece and he wasn’t able to play.” Threatt said.
Brinkley sprained his knee in Delaware’s previous game against Hofstra. Though he sat out this game, the senior still has a chance of playing in the CAA tournament.
Sherrod Wright did his best to try and spoil the seniors of Delaware’s final home game of the season.
Wright entered the game having scored only 27 points in his past three games, but the guard regained his scoring touch dishing in 20 points. The CAA’s ninth leading scorer reached the 20-plus mark for the 12 th time this year.
Marko Gujanicic netted a career-high 21 for George Mason. The freshman forward from Serbia was 8-14 from the field, 4-5 from three.
Kyle Anderson finished with 17 points. The sophomore has now scored in double figures for the third straight game.
The five-point victory snapped a streak of six straight games being decided by two points or less, the longest streak in program history.
“It is what it is, but I will tell you what I was able to draw on it today in one of the huddles with three minutes to go and down by three or four,” Ross said of playing in so many close contests. “I said look guys we have been in so many close games that we know what to do in these spots and we just have to do our stuff and our stuff is to make sure that they get one shot down that end and one shot only. Down this end I don’t care if we miss one shot as long as it is a good shot and we don’t turn the ball over. If we do that, we are going to win this game. These guys know that because they have been in so many situations just like that so it will help us because down in the tournament I would venture to say that there is not going to be a lot of blowouts down there.”
Having already clinched the No. 2 seed in the CAA Tournament, Delaware (18-13, 13-5) will play the seventh seed, Hofstra, in the opening round.
The Blue Hens capped a historical season for the school. With the win, Delaware picked up its record 13 th victory in CAA play and swept George Mason for the first time in conference play.