FORT KENT, Me. (January 20, 2018) – Despite hanging tight at Maine Fort Kent all Friday afternoon, it was not enough for SUNY Delhi men's basketball to avoid a 93-87 NIAC defeat to the Bengals. Now 12-11, the Broncos entered the game winners of three of their last four contests, including a NIAC win at Fisher Wednesday evening, and ranked 14th in the latest USCAA Division II Coaches' Poll. The Bengals, now 16-6, were ranked third in the USCAA Division I rankings.
Friday's game was a rematch of another close contest between Delhi and MFK on November 19, where the Bengals won, 75-74, on a buzzer-beating layup.
William Knight led Delhi with 24 points, while Payton Dean shot a team-best 9-for-15 from the floor on his way to 19 points. Damon Denteh tallied 15 points off the bench, with Jordan Fragale contributing 14 points and five assists. Ultimately, however, the Broncos were outworked by the Bengals in several key categories, including rebounds (36-25), points in the paint (50-34) and fastbreak points (14-2). MFK shot 61.0 percent (36-for-59) from the floor to Delhi's 42.7 percent (32-for-75), and fared better from outside the arc, making 6-of-11 to the Broncos' 11-of-38.
Things started off well for the Broncos early on, jumping to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes. The Bengals worked their way into the game, eventually tying the game at 20-20 with roughly nine minutes to go in the first half, and then taking the lead for good on an Anthony Knight layup at 22-20 with 8:34 left before halftime. The Bengals took a 43-38 lead into intermission, but the Broncos answered quickly in the second half to draw to within two points twice, courtesy of Knight. The sophomore nailed a jumper to make the score 53-51 with 13:25 to play, and then drilled a three almost a minute later to make it 56-54 with 12:48 to go. MFK, however, answered with a 14-3 scoring run that gave the Bengals their largest lead of the game. Delhi again remained resilient, drawing to within three at 78-75 on a Dean dunk with 2:13 left, only to see the Bengals again use a 8-2 scoring run to pull away with the win.
SUNY Delhi concludes its busy week hosting Alfred State on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. in Floyd L. Maines Arena. It will mark the Broncos' fourth game in seven days, and their last before the start of the spring semester.