DELHI, N.Y. (February 16, 2019) – The SUNY Delhi men's basketball team charged on for a staggering 71 second-half points Saturday, leaving far behind a two-point halftime deficit to defeat College of St. Joseph, 105-71, in their regular season finale. The Broncos used their second-highest scoring total of the season, and far and away highest-scoring half ever under head coach Zack Thomsen, to capture their tenth straight home win and enter next weekend's ACAA Tournament with a 15-10 record. Delhi was 10-1 this season in Floyd L. Maines Arena.
The Broncos will now make the long-awaited trip to Alfred State to compete at their first-ever ACAA Tournament. Earning the two seed, Delhi will face third-seeded Pine Manor in the league semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. The winner will play the finalist from the other semifinals matchup between one-seed Thomas More and fourth-seed Alfred State on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Neither side held more than a six-point lead throughout the first half, with that honor going to the Fighting Saints, who had a 19-13 advantage with 10:32 to go before halftime. Payton Dean racked up his tenth double-double on the season in the first half alone, totaling ten points and rebounds through the first 20 minutes. A late 3-pointer by Mickalous Snowden gave CSJ a 36-34 lead at intermission.
Coach Thomsen maintained his starters to begin the second half, but quickly flipped the script that made all the difference. Following a pair of Justin Daoud free throws to give Delhi a 48-44 lead with 16:38 to go, Thomsen inserted a four-man switch to put Mavenson Therneus, Jared Beach, Jalen Stewart and William Knight on the court with Jordan Fragale. The five put into action a fast-paced, full-court press system that led to their scoring surge. Tied at 52-52, Delhi staked its claim with an 18-4 run, where they forced the Fighting Saints into six turnovers, which led to 11 points, to go up, 70-56 with 9:02 to play. The men pushed their lead as far as 37 points by game's end, scoring 35 points in the final eight minutes.
In all, the Broncos forced CSJ into 17 of its 26 turnovers in the final half, as well as a second-half shooting percentage of 55.1 percent (27-for-49), including 5-of-15 on 3-pointers. Delhi ended the day at 45.5 percent (40-for-88), making 9-of-33 threes, compared to their guests' 37.1 percent (26-for-70) and 9-of-26, respectively. They also made 16-of-29 free throws to the Fighting Saints' 10-of-17 showing from the charity stripe. The men held a 57-49 edge in rebounds, a 26-9 lead in points off turnovers, and a 54-28 advantage in points in the paint.
Eleven of the 14 Broncos who stepped on the court Saturday produced points, which featured two with double-doubles. Dean nabbed 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Fragale posted 20 points and 12 assists. Carlos Ithier made three triples for 15 points, as Knight came off the bench to make 4-of-9 threes for 14 points. Daoud produced nine points with six rebounds, going a perfect 6-for-6 on free throws. Jalen Stewart scored seven points, while Jordan Jackson tallied six points, shooting a perfect 2-for-2 from the field, and Jacob Beach connected on a three on his way to five points. Norman Wilson grabbed six rebounds to go with three points, as Mavenson Therneus pulled in five boards and netted four points.
In his fourth year at the helm, Coach Thomsen has plenty to be proud of so far from his 2018-19 team. Standing at 5-8 halfway through the year, the Broncos have posted a 10-2 record since Dec. 31. That includes going 7-for-7 at home during the 2019 leg of the season, as well as the team going 3-1 against ACAA competition. Delhi also had two of its three 100-point games in this stretch, with the other a 110-72 home win over Penn College Tech on Jan. 3. The Broncos are 6-1 when scoring at least 90 points.