MADISON (NJ) – Delaware Valley College gave undefeated ninth-ranked FDU-Florham one of its biggest scares of the year, but the host Devils used a big second-half run to post a 72-54, Freedom Conference victory.
FDU-Florham, the defending conference champions, improved to 18-0 overall and ended the first half of league action with a 7-0 a mark. The loss dropped the Aggies to 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the Freedom, but they remained in third place in the standings (tied with DeSales University).
Delaware Valley held a 31-28 lead at halftime and it marked the first time all season that FDU-Florham trailed at the break. The Aggies were also up two with just over 10 minutes to go in the contest, the latest a team has held a led over the Devils. However, FDU-Florham went on a blistering run at the end, scoring 22 of the game's final 24 points to pull away to the win.
The first half saw the Aggie defense limit the Devils to 29.7 percent from the shooting, including a 2-for-15 effort from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Delaware Valley shot just under 40 percent and hit four of their nine 3-point attempts.
That helped the Aggies turn a 20-15 deficit into a 31-25 lead over a six-minute span late in the stanza. Brenna Coll had six of Delaware Valley's 16 points in the spurt while Kelsey Kilpatrick had four. FDU-Florham had the final three points to trail by three at the intermission.
The teams traded the lead on several occasions in the second half, including when Melissa DeHass hit a pair of free throws with 11:27 left to give the Devils a 50-48 lead. Delaware Valley countered with a jumper by Eireann Anastasi 22 seconds later and a layup from Coll with 10:26 on the clock for a 52-50 Aggie advantage.
It was all FDU-Florham from there as the Devils scored nine straight, including five by reigning Freedom Player of the Year and All-American Kyra Dayon, for a seven-point lead. Coll hit a layup with 6:03 to go but those were last points for Delaware Valley as the Devils ran off 13 straight for the 72-54 final.
Kyra Dayon was held to 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting, but she did grab 10 rebounds and dish out five assists. Twin sister Kara Dayon had 16 points and seven boards while Jalessa Lewis led all players with 17 points.
Coll had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies. Anastasi and Agatha Drozd had 10 points apiece while Kilpatrick came off the bench to pour in nine points. Shannon Barlow led the way on the boards with nine rebounds.