NEWARK, Del. - After nine days off for final exams, La Salle was understandably rusty. With a five-game winning streak, their longest in nearly six years, they hoped to have a relatively easy time against Delaware.
It was anything but easy.
The Explorers saw their streak stopped as poor shooting and foul trouble undermined them in a 70-66 loss to the Blue Hens before 2,345 at Bob Carpenter Center on Monday night.
La Salle (7-4) shot just 2 for 16 from three-point range. The Explorers went into the game shooting 42 percent.
In the Explorers' run, they hadn't won by fewer than 12, and early in the game they thought that run would continue.
The Explorers took an 11-point first-half lead with 4 minutes, 47 seconds left, but frittered it away. They led by 33-27 at halftime, but Delaware (5-5) managed to tie at 37 with 17:34 remaining.
Tyreek Duren's layup moments later broke the tie and they took a 47-41 lead on Sam Mills' layup with 15:16 to play.
Delaware scored nine straight for a 50-47 lead with 12:23 to play. Thanks to Devon White, who had 11 of his team-high 15 in the second half, the Explorers were able to keep up with the Blue Hens. After White's jumper with seven minutes to play, the score was tied at 60. No one scored until Kyle Anderson gave Delaware a 62-60 lead with 3:55 to play.
He followed it with a three-pointer with 3:13 to play for a five-point advantage. After Duren's turnaround, Khalid Lewis' two free throws gave the Blue Hens a 67-62 lead with 2:12 left.
Trailing by 67-66, La Salle took its final time out, and Duren drove, but his shot was blocked by Lewis with 22 seconds to play. After Lewis made his free throws for a 69-66 lead, Hagins' blocked Earl Pettis' hot and Mills missed a trey.
In the first half, La Salle took the lead on Pettis' layup with 16:33 remaining in the first half, and shut down anyone on Delaware not named Devon Saddler.
Saddler, who was averaging 21.3 points, scored eight straight points for the Blue Hens No one other than Saddler scored for nearly 10 minutes as La Salle took a 23-13 lead with 8:51 to play in the half.
Ramon Galloway, who had averaged 19.5 in the first five games of the winning streak, missed 11 of 13 shots in the first half. He ended with 11.
The Explorers still have three more nonconference games left before they start Atlantic 10 play on Jan. 4 against Xavier.