The cold that has overtaken the Northeast and East Coast has apparently kept the players from Towson and Delaware cooped up inside. Otherwise, there is no way to explain all of the pent up energy and frustration that came out on the floor Saturday.
The two teams atop the CAA jawed, and pushed, and shoved, and bruised their way to a combined 59 fouls which stretched the game long beyond the two-hour mark. When all was said and done and the smoke cleared, Delaware stood tall with an 83-76 win over the visiting Tigers.
If you went in the lane today, you took a foul.
If you got a little too chirpy with your opponent, he was sure to push you in the back, or take it out on you at the other end of the floor.
You were just asking for some aches and pains tomorrow if you at all picked up the ball.
But Delaware fought through that, playing smarter and within themselves. This is a credit to their experience and senior leaders, especially Devon Saddler. The guard was his typical self, coming off the bench today to score 23 points, topping that 20-point mark for the seventh-straight game.
That would be a Delaware record. Had he not been suspended at the beginning of the year, he would be crushing the league in scoring.
Or maybe turn instead to Jarvis Threatt who went for 20 points and shot 8-for-13 from the free throw line in the hack-a-thon.
Any number of players could get the kudos for the Blue Hens, but that is this team in a nutshell: balanced, able to count on any number of players to help them, resilient.
They needed every bit of that poise to withstand Towson, who were it not for an eight-plus minute drought in the first half, might have been able to challenge in this one more forcefully than they did.
But they just couldn't get it going. Four McGlynn went 0-for-6 from the floor and missed badly on almost every one of his five 3-point attempts. The Tigers tossed up 17 shots from behind the arc, and only two of them fell.
That and when they had opportunities at the free throw line -- and everyone had opportunities at the line today -- they went just 28-for-39. Those are missed chances. That, and the 17 turnovers, a ridiculous number and over their already hurting 12 per game. You can't expect to beat Delaware that way.
And that leads to frustration, and three players fouling out because they can't keep their heads. You get warned about a push in the back and then you do it again. You step to a player after he has a hard play with your leader Jerrelle Benimon and then you don't back off. You just make silly mistakes.
Benimon did what he could to make up for this all with his play. But this wasn't going to be one that he could win on his own. He had 29 points and 16 boards -- part of a crushing on the glass by the Tigers. Not enough today though, not when the rest of the team shoots just 34 percent.
But they don't have the poise of Delaware, or the multiple weapons. And that is why the Blue Hens now hold the inside track at 6-0 in the league.