They never said it was going to be easy.
CAA No. 1 seed Delaware took it on the chin early Saturday afternoon in its first round matchup with No. 8 seed Hofstra, surrendering a three-point halftime lead before pushing back and sealing an 87-76 victory to advance to the semifinals.
Joe Mihalich's spunky Pride, fresh off winning the tournament's play-in game Friday night, jumped on the Blue Hens early, taking an 8-3 lead in the first two minutes of play.
Zeke Upshaw led the way for Hofstra early on, piling up 11 of his team-high 23 points in the first half on just six field goal attempts. He finished the game 6 of 14 from the field, 3 of 9 from behind the arc, and 8 of 8 from the free throw line.
The Pride pushed the lead to 26-17 midway through the first stanza before Delaware closed the gap behind six points from senior guard Devon Saddler.
Saddler went scoreless for the first nine minutes of the game and was -- by his standards -- cold all game long, finishing the afternoon with 15points on 4 of 11 shooting. But Delaware's Davon Usher and Jarvis Threatt were more than ready to pick up the slack as the two combined for 50 points on just 28 field goal attempts, flexing the Hens' depth for the rest of the CAA to see.
Hofstra shot 48.4 percent in the first half but saw its efficiency fall off drastically after the break. Post-halftime the Pride managed managed to go just 37.9 percent from the field while the Blue Hens ripped off a superb 63.6 percent mark to secure the win.
Delaware advances to the semifinal game Sunday at 2:30 p.m., when the Blue Hens will face the winner of this afternoon's contest between No. 4 seed Drexel (16-13) and No. 5 seed Northeastern (10-20).
The Pride finish the season 10-23, 5-12 in CAA play.