Hofstra Pride guard Jaquan Carlos (11) shoots during the Delaware...

Hofstra Pride guard Jaquan Carlos (11) shoots during the Delaware Fighting’ Blue Hens at the Hofstra Pride on January 14, 2023. Credit: /Lee S. Weissman

This was a complete-game victory for Hofstra, a Saturday matinee marked by balanced scoring and terrific defense from the opening tip of the basketball to 0:00 on the scoreboard clock.

“We pretty much controlled this game from start to finish,” coach Speedy Claxton said after the Pride’s 86-62 CAA win over Delaware at Mack Sports Complex. “I think we started well and ended well, which I’m extremely proud of, because if we want to be a championship team, we have to play complete games like we did today.”

The Pride are rolling right now with four straight wins and six in their last seven games. They’re up to 12-7 overall and 5-1 in CAA play.

“We’re definitely on our way, but we’ve got a lot more work to do,” said Jaquan Carlos, their sophomore point guard. “We can be way better than where we are right now, and we’re going to get there by the time the CAA playoffs come.”

Carlos stood out at both ends, delivering 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals.

“He’s our leader, vocal leader, emotional leader,” Claxton said. “The sky’s the limit for this kid.”

Aaron Estrada leads Hofstra and the conference in scoring at 20.9 points per game, and he shared the top spot in this game with teammate Warren Williams. Both had 17. Tyler Thomas contributed 16.

At the other end, Hofstra held the Blue Hens (10-8, 2-3), the defending CAA Tournament champions, to 33.3% shooting and forced 18 turnovers, 13 on steals.

“I thought their pressure really bothered us in the half-court,” Delaware coach Martin Ingelsby said. “They were able to convert in transition. I think they’re an improved defensive team with some size and physicality.”

The Blue Hens were minus Jameer Nelson Jr. and his 19.7 points per game. The redshirt junior point guard, who had 22 points and six assists Dec. 29 when Delaware fell at home to the Pride, 87-73, missed his third straight game with left knee soreness.

“Not having Jameer out there obviously hurts us, a premier guard in the league, a guy that can really control our offense and settle us down,” Ingelsby said. “We’re hopeful we’ll get him back this year, but not sure.”

Hofstra led 15-10 and then began to take charge, going on a 14-1 run.

Estrada hit a three-pointer from the left side and followed by driving for two to make it a 29-11 game.

The Blue Hens, who were led by Ebby Asamoah’s 13 points, cut it to 37-25 by halftime. Carlos then drilled a three-pointer from the left corner for the first points of the second half to launch a 20-8 run, good for a 24-point advantage at 57-33. Carlos and Thomas both hit two threes in the burst.

The lead hit 27 late in the game.

The Pride ended up allowing only 20 points in the paint.

“I thought we were real dialed into the game plan,” Claxton said. “Our guys were really good on the defensive end.”