Delaware wins 8th straight, 99-85


They are the hottest team in the league, and they won't be easy to stop in the East Coast Conference tournament.

Delaware's Blue Hens reinforced that thought yesterday, dominating Central Connecticut State, 99-85, for their eighth consecutive victory and advancing to this afternoon's semifinal round.

Delaware will meet Rider, which won another close duel with Drexel, 71-68. The two teams have played three times, with no game decided by more than three points.

"There wasn't a whole lot of difference except that they got the most important one," said Drexel coach Eddie Burke, whose team won the first two games.

"I think Delaware could compete in the Big East," said losing coach Mike Brown. "Tell me what they don't have. I don't see how they lost a game in this league."

The top ECC rebounding team had a 52-38 edge on the backboards and set the tone on the first possession when Anthony Wright converted a three-point play after stealing the ball while the Blue Devils tried to establish a slowdown.

"The first one is always the toughest," said Delaware coach Steve Steinwedel. "Before our game, I had already seen three major upsets in other tournaments.

"But I thought if we played the way we were capable of we were the better team. We had really good intensity and played our tempo most of the game."

The Blue Devils (4-24) finished with a seven-game losing streak and again played without the ECC's leading scorer, Obet Vazquez, who underwent knee surgery Feb. 13 and has not played since.

Drexel set team (11) and individual (Mike Wisler, six) tourney records for three-pointers in a game in which the largest margin was seven.

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