For 32 minutes, the College of Charleston executed their game plan against Delaware with flawless precision.
The Cougars led Delaware by 20 points, 51-31, after David Wishon dunk off a Joe Chealey miss with 8:50 to play in the game.
Everything was going the Cougars' way and it looked as if the Blue Hens were going to lose for the first time in the Colonial Athletic Association.
But Davon Usher wasn't going to let that happen.
Usher scored a career-high 42 points, 25 coming in the second half, and Devon Saddler added 17 points as the Blue Hens rallied to beat the College of Charleston, 67-64, Wednesday night at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del.
The Blue Hens (18-7, 10-0 in CAA) turned up their defensive pressure, forcing 26 College of Charleston (12-12, 4-5) turnovers, and finished the game on a 36-13 run to win for the 12th straight time this season.
It was the combination of turnovers and missed free throws - the Cougars made just four of 12 free throws in the final five minutes - that doomed College of Charleston.
"In the end, the turnovers and the missed free-throw shooting got us beat," College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik said. "We controlled the game. The tempo was really good. Our guys listened to the game plan. We shot 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. We didn't take quick shots. We just didn't handle their full-court pressure very well."
The Cougars actually played well defensively on Saddler - Delaware's all-time leading scorer with more than 2,000 career points - as the senior guard had to work for every shot he took.
Usher was a different story. The 6-6 transfer from Mississippi Valley State scorched the Cougars' defense, connecting on 14 of 20 shots and scoring 15 of the Blue Hens' final 19 points of the game.
"Usher just annihilated us," Wojcik said.
The Cougars' strategy to control the tempo of the game, using as much of the shot clock as possible and still getting good shots, worked to perfection. The Blue Hens came into the game averaging a league-best 80 points a game.
Trailing by 20 points, the Blue Hens switched to a full-court press and the turnovers began.
"We panicked with our press offense," Wojcik said. "We turned it over 26 times and you can't turn the ball over that many times and win on the road."
When the Blue Hens were not forcing turnovers, they were hitting free throws and Usher was scoring. Usher's 3-point play cut the gap to 59-55 with 3:21 to play.
After a Chealey free throw, Wills Hall connected on a layup and the Cougars led 62-55 with 2:52 to play. But the Cougars would score just two points the rest of the way.
Saddler hit a 15-foot jumper with 1:05 to play to cut the lead to 64-63 and Usher sank a driving layup to give the Blue Hens their first lead, 65-64, since early in the game with 30.6 seconds to play. A turnover on the next Cougars possession and two more Usher free throws, and the Blue Hens led 67-64 with 17.5 seconds to play.
"It's a really tough pill to swallow and it's a shame because we played so well at times tonight," Wojcik said. "We're just an inconsistent team. We can beat anyone in the league and we can lose to anyone in the league. We need to grow up."
Anthony Stitt and Chealey each had a chance to tie the game, but missed on their 3-point attempts.
Adjehi Baru led the Cougars with his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Stitt had 11 points and David Wishon added 10.
The Cougars will travel to Towson on Saturday.
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