Our heroes head back out on the road today after a too-brief respite in the cozy confines of the TribeDome. The Wrens took out some long-simmering frustration on Towson on Saturday, avenging a double-overtime loss to the Tigers on the strength of an 11-2 game-ending run. The game marked the end of a four road games out of five stretch that weighed heavily on both the Tribe's record and its psyche.
Tonight, Tony Shaver and the boys travel to Newark (that's New-ARK, to those in the know), Delaware to take on the Fighting Blue Hens (9-11, 4-3 CAA). Delaware was highly touted in the preseason on the strength of their inside-out wonder twins, Jamelle Hagins and Devon Saddler. The bruising Hagins is second in the CAA in rebounding with 10.9 a game, though his 12.1 points per contest is a bit disappointing. Lead guard Saddler is the conference's leading scorer, dropping 19.2 a game. He and sophomore gunner Kyle Anderson are the Hens' only real outside threats - both make better than 31% of their long-range attempts.
The rest of this season will hinge on Shaver's ability to get his team to maximize the highs and minimize the bizarre lapses. They've gotta learn to win, to put it in highly technical terms.
They'll start with Tim Rusthoven, who's played some of his best ball over the past two weeks. The junior post, who unfortunately shaved his excellently scruffy beard, has averaged 19.5 points and 9.3 boards a game over the last four, recording double-doubles in three of those. He went for 25 and 11 in the double overtime loss to Northeastern before fouling out. Rusthoven leads the CAA in field goal percentage, and is one of only three players in the league's top 10 in both points and rebounds per game (along with Towson's Jerrelle Benimon and UNCW's Keith Rendleman).
Tonight's tip is at 7:00. No television, which is probably a good thing. Delaware's good, but they had to play a tough Drexel team just two days ago. Here's hoping the Tribe catch them tired and unfocused. It'd be a bit of poetic justice.