Delaware Falls in CAA Quarterfinals to William & Mary, 59-44
HARRISONBURG, Va. – For the first time in eight years, the Blue Hens will not be advancing to the CAA Tournament semifinals as Delaware fell to William & Mary, 59-44, in Thursday’s quarterfinals matchup at the JMU Convocation Center.
Delaware, which was previously 13-0 in CAA quarterfinals appearances and had made seven straight trips to the semis, struggled on the boards and was just one rebound away from a season-low with 26 rebounds.
The fourth-seeded Tribe (20-10) jumped out to an early lead, and while the fifth-seeded Hens held it close for the majority of the game, UD (16-14) was never able overcome deficit.
Senior Erika Brown (Paterson, N.J./John F. Kennedy) led the Blue Hens with 15 points and three assists. Junior Makeda Nicholas (at left; North Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon) added 10 points and five rebounds while sophomore Nicole Enabosi (Gaithersburg, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) finished the game with seven points, five rebounds and a career-best five steals.
Marlena Tremba guided William & Mary with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and nine rebounds. The Tribe advance to play the top-seeded Elon Phoenix in tomorrow’s 4:30 p.m. semifinals contest.
Head Coach Tina Martin
“Obviously this is a disappointing loss. I thought our kids really battled, but we really struggled to finish shots. William & Mary did a great job collapsing in their 3-2 zone and we had a hard time entering the ball into our post players. Once we got it in there, we did a decent job of getting it back out and making the extra pass, but then you have to be able to knock down the jump shot and also get to the rim. Today was a frustrating day offensively for sure. Defensive has kept us in games all year long and today was no different.”
Senior co-captain Erika Brown
“We didn’t come out ready for how well they’ve been playing lately. Our turnovers and rebounds really killed us, especially in the first half. We let them get too many offensive rebounds. We were right there; we just needed that one extra stop or one extra made basket. We just couldn’t get over that hump. I felt that we were in it the whole game; we never gave up.”
[On senior year coming to a close]: “I’ve always left it all out on the court and I can’t regret anything the four years that I’ve played here. It sucks that I couldn’t go out with a championship, but I truly appreciate everything the University of Delaware has given me the past four years.”
· The Tribe outrebounded the Hens, 28-26.
· Delaware shot just 18.2 percent (2-of-11) from the floor in the fourth quarter.
· The Blue Hens had never-before faced William & Mary in the CAA Tournament.
· The Hens now await their fate for a possible WNIT selection, which will be announced on Monday, March 13.