PISCATAWAY, N.J.The University of Delaware held things close throughout the whole game, but in the end the Blue Hens were unable to come out victorious as Rutgers ended UD’s season by a score of 65-61 Thursday evening in the first round of the WNIT.

Despite its youth, Delaware exceeded expectations and earned its fifth straight berth into postseason play by finishing second in the Colonial Athletic Association.  Additionally, the Blue Hens collected their 12th 20-win season in the past 15 years while wrapping the 2013-14 campaign with a mark of 20-11.

Sophomore Courtni Green (Winchester, Va.) led the Hens with a career-best 19 points while tying a career-high with five three-pointers made.  The guard added six rebounds and two assists.

Redshirt sophomore Joy Caracciolo (at left; Manassas, Va.) tied a career-best with 17 points in addition to a team-high eight rebounds.

Junior Stephanie Leon (at bottom right; Northport, N.Y.) recorded a defensive gem for UD by recording a team season-high five blocked shots.

Delaware challenged the Scarlet Knights the entire evening as the two teams exchanged the lead four times and registered eight score ties.

The Hens tied things at 42-42 off a jumper from senior Akeema Richards (Baltimore, Md.) with 10:18 remaining in the game before Rutgers went on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes.  UD never fully recovered from the outburst, but pulled the game within five with just over two minutes left on the clock.

A Richards’ free throw with 1:01 cut the deficit to four at 65-61, but the Hens were unable to capitalize on three RU turnovers in the waning minutes.

Rutgers (23-9) had four players score in double figures and was led by Tyler Scaife’s 22 points while Betnijah Laney registered a double double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Head Coach Tina Martin
“For their first WNIT experience, our kids followed the game plan very well.  We gave ourselves the opportunity to stay in the game and certainly to win the game.  This is a very young basketball team and our kids held their composure very well.  They stepped up and put their best foot forward with a very good Rutgers team.  Delaware has a tradition of winning and this young group will be back to postseason action in the future.   

Sophomore Courtni Green
“It was a good experience to be able to play in the postseason and with that, play a good team like Rutgers.  We took it all in, listened to our coaches, came out and gave our best effort against a tough team.”

Redshirt Sophomore Joy Caracciolo
“This game was a good way to end our season as it gave us more experience to play in the postseason and against such a good team as Rutgers.  Being able to stay with them throughout the game gives us a lot of confidence going in to next season.”

·   Delaware is 0-7 all-time in the WNIT.
·   All-CAA First Team selection Kelsey Buchanan (South Riding, Va.) was in foul trouble the entire evening and ended up playing just 15 minutes before fouling out of the contest.  Buchanan finished with five points, three rebounds and two assists in the final game of her career.
·   Akeema Richards also fouled out in her final game in a Blue Hens uniform after tallying four rebounds, three points and three assists.
·   Courtni Green’s 56 three-point field goals is good for second all-time in Delaware single season history.  Elena Delle Donne posted 66 in 2009-10.  Green finishes her sophomore season with 71 career three-pointers, good for 10th all-time in school history.