Hens Fall in Heartbreaking Fashion to CAA Newcomer College of Charleston, 68-66
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The University of Delaware women’s basketball team overcame a 22-point halftime deficit, but allowed a College of Charleston jumper with six seconds remaining to fall, 68-66, in a heartbreaker Sunday evening at TD Arena.
The Blue Hens (11-6, 3-3 CAA) outscored the Cougars (11-8, 4-2 CAA) by 20 points in the second half and had things tied at 66-66 with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game until Afreyea Tolbert knocked down a jumper in the paint with six seconds on the clock. A floating jumper from Delaware freshman Erika Brown (Haledon, N.J.) wouldn’t bounce in as time expired and CofC came away with the victory.
UD came out in the second half and immediately pounced on the Cougars by going on a 17-3 run to come within eight at 48-40. The College of Charleston proceeded to take a 19-point advantage with just under seven minutes remaining in the game before the Hens crawled right back into things.
With five minutes left on the clock, Delaware outscored the Cougars, 13-0, including seven Blue Hens free throws.
Senior Kelsey Buchanan (South Riding, Va.) and redshirt sophomore Joy Caracciolo (Manassas, Va.) each collected double doubles in the loss. Buchanan marked her sixth career double double with by tying a career-high 27 points in addition to 12 rebounds. Caracciolo tallied the second double double of her career with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Mikaela Hopkins and Breanna Bolden also each had double doubles for the Cougars. Hopkins registered 19 points and 12 rebounds while Bolden contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds for the College.
Head Coach Tina Martin – “I am proud of the effort we put forth in the second half and I told them after the game that we showed the heart of a fighter. We fought and we refused to be embarrassed here. It’s really hard right now with this young group because they’re so see-saw-ish. Obviously, if we played with as much enthusiasm and fight in the first half as we did in the second, we would have put ourselves in an outstanding position to win this basketball game.”
Redshirt Sophomore Joy Caracciolo – “We were just focusing on one stop at a time. We got really excited when we cut the lead, but we let up a couple of times and that’s when they got more points. It was a really emotional game; we knew how bad we played in the first half, so we were really trying to make up for it in the second. It’s a really tough loss and it’s almost worse than losing by a lot because we know we worked really hard and we were right there. We showed a lot of heart and I’m proud of this team.”
· The 22-point halftime deficit was the largest of the season for the Blue Hens. They previously held a deficit of six points at the half against Hofstra on Jan. 5.
· Delaware held the Cougars without a single point for nearly five minutes to close the game until Tolbert’s basket.
· Delaware has had at least two players score in double figures in all 14 games this season.
· The College of Charleston takes the all-time series advantage of 1-0 against Delaware.
· The two teams will match up again this season with a Feb. 13 meeting at the Bob Carpenter Center.
· Kelsey Buchanan has scored double figures in all 17 games this season.
· Hannah Jardine collected a career-best nine rebounds.
· Thursday, Jan. 30 – Northeastern at Delaware* - 7 p.m. – Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, Del.)
· Sunday, Feb. 2 – Delaware at Towson* - 2 p.m. – SECU Arena (Towson, Md.)
· Friday, Feb. 7 – Delaware at UNCW* - 7 p.m. – Trask Coliseum (Wilmington, N.C.)