BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Freshman Erika Brown (Haledon, N.J.) recorded career-highs of 23 points and four assists while senior Kelsey Buchanan (South Riding, Va.) added 18 points of her own as the University of Delaware women’s basketball team picked up a 77-64 victory over Lehigh University Saturday afternoon at Stabler Arena to clinch the Christmas City Classic title.

Delaware advanced to the championship game after a 69-48 victory over Youngstown State Friday evening.

Buchanan was named the Christmas City Classic Most Valuable Player after averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists against Lehigh and Youngstown State.  The center also shot 14-for-23 from the field for a shooting percentage of 60.9.

Sophomore Courtni Green (Winchester, Va.) also earned All-Tournament Team honors as the guard averaged 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 three-pointers off the bench for Delaware.

For the second straight night, the Blue Hens (8-2) capitalized off of opponent turnovers by scoring 20 points off of 17 Lehigh (7-3) turnovers.

Kerry Kinek led the Mountain Hawks with 13 points and five rebounds while Elizabeth Sharlow posted nine points and a team-best seven rebounds.

Head Coach Tina Martin – “Today, I thought we did a really good job of executing our zone and listening and in the end, it all paid off.  Our zone was what it was supposed to be for the first time in a long time.  I’m very proud of this team and happy for today; it’s a great Christmas present to win a championship.  It’s their first championship as this group and I told them it’s a baby step to where we want to be.”

Freshman Guard Erika Brown – “It feels great to come out on top.  Coach harks on how good of a team we could be and that this is the first step to winning a bigger championship, which is the CAA.  I’m proud of my team, we came out here and showed them that we can be one of the best teams.  At halftime, we were up, but knew that we had 20 more minutes of hard basketball to play and we had to go home as champions.”

     ·   Delaware has had at least three players score in double figures in nine games this season, including all eight victories.
     ·   The Blue Hens shot 53.7 percent, including 29 field goals made, both season highs.
     ·   UD is now 18-10 all-time against Lehigh, including eight straight victories dating to the 1989-90 season and 13 of the last 14 since 1987-88.
     ·   The last time the Blue Hens matched up against the Mountain Hawks resulted in a 65-51 win on December 30, 2004 to capture the Christmas City Classic title.
     ·   The Hens have won two straight games.
     ·   Kelsey Buchanan has scored in double figures in all 10 games this year.
     ·   Jade Clark earned her third start of the season while Jodi Salyer earned the second start of her career.
     ·   Joy Caracciolo, who celebrated her 21st birthday Saturday, collected five points in UD’s win.

     ·   Monday, Dec. 30 – St. John’s at Delaware – 5 p.m. – Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, Del.)
     ·   Sunday, Jan. 5 – Hofstra at Delaware – CAA Opener – 2 p.m. – Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, Del.)
     ·   Thursday, Jan. 9 – Delaware at William & Mary – 7 p.m. – Kaplan Arena (Williamsburg, Va.)