Young Hens Get Glimpse of Bright Future, Rally Back to Down Wake Forest 71-61 in Women's Basketball
NEWARK, Del. -- On a night when the University of Delaware women's basketball team honored its glorious past, the Blue Hens got a nice look at its promising future.
Down by as many as nine points midway through the second half, the young Blue Hens rallied back in a big way and treated a crowd of 2,401 to a 71-61 victory over Atlantic Coast Conference visitor Wake Forest Friday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Senior forward Kelsey Buchanan (at right) led the way for Delaware with 22 points and nine rebounds, but the Blue Hens got big efforts from its younger players too as freshman guard Erika Brown scored 13 of her season-high 18 points in the second half, sophomore guard Courtni Green knocked down 12 points, and freshman forward Shanice Johnson contributed nine points and nine rebounds.
The Blue Hens (2-1) bounced back from a 70-58 loss to Temple in its home opener last Tuesday to down the Demon Deacons (1-2) for the second straight year.
Wake Forest guard Chelsea Douglas was nearly unstoppable as she poured in a season-high 30 points, including 6 of 11 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Dearica Hamby added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Millesa Calicott added a career-high 11 points.
“This was a very good first step for this group,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. “They listened, stayed together, and did a great job of staying within themselves. Our seniors did a great job and our young kids played really well too. Courtni (Green) is capable of making any shot on the court and is really coming into her own.”
Delaware started the night by honoring the 2012-13 squad that went 32-4, won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament for the second straight year, and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. Among the six seniors who came back to celebrate was WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne, a three-time All-American who finished her UD career last season as the No. 5 scorer in NCAA history with 3,309 points.
The Blue Hens trailed for almost the entire first half, going down by as many as seven points early and trailing 30-25 at the half. After the Hens rallied back to tie the game early in the second half at 35-35, Wake took control and grabbed a nine-point advantage at 44-35 with 12:30 remaining.
But Delaware caught fire, outscoring Wake Forest 24-7 over the next eight minutes to take a 59-51 lead with 5:40 left. Green and Brown each scored eight points during the run while Buchanan netted the final six. The Hens connected on 7 of 8 free throws over the final 1:18 to stay in front.
Delaware will return to action next Tuesday, Nov. 19, when the Hens host Monmouth at 7 p.m.