It came as little surprise to Delaware State coach Jeff Jones that his team beat host Morgan State last night, 87-79.
What surprised him was the way it happened.
Morgan State, winless and a loser by an average of more than 23 points a game, played aggressively and even held a one-point lead against the first-place Hornets midway through the second half before falling in the end.
"We figured we'd come in and play our game," said Jones, "but we just didn't have any gas tonight. I think we were awfully lucky."
The Bears held leads of 43-40, 58-54 and 60-59 before falling victim to an 11-0 Delaware State run to put the game out of reach.
Coach Michael Holmes attributed Morgan's second-half breakdown to the actions of several team members who broke curfew the night before.
"The guys broke training," he said. "We lost the game, and I hope it was a lesson well learned. We got winded in the second half. We came out fiery and were in it for a while, but we ran out of gas."
The win gave the Hornets (10-4, 4-0) their best start ever and extended their winning streak to seven -- the longest in recorded school history -- all on the road.
Said Jones: "This was our ninth in a row on the road, and our kids were tired. The Morgan kids caught us at the right time."
After controlling the tempo in the first half, holding Delaware State, which averages 90 points, to 36 at halftime, Morgan (0-14, 0-4) did more of the same to start the second. Glenn Smith (20 points) and Ural Hogans (16) helped pace the Bears to a 58-54 lead with 12 minutes, 2 seconds left.
The Hornets fired up the running game and scored 16 of the game's next 18 points to take a 70-60 lead with 7:22 to play.
From there, Delaware State's Paul Newman (26 points) and Tom Davis (21) took charge and help cut short several late Morgan comeback attempts to preserve the win.