BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University of Delaware women’s basketball team’s fervent comeback attempt came up just short Friday afternoon as the Blue Hens dropped the season opener 87-73 to the University of Buffalo at Alumni Arena.

The game marked the Blue Hen head coaching debut of Natasha Adair as only the fourth head coach in the history of the Delaware program.

The Blue Hens (0-1) cut a 20-point third quarter deficit to just 10 with 5:53 remaining, and to nine with 4:37 remaining, but a three-pointer by Mariah Suchan of Buffalo increased the lead back to 12.

Three different Blue Hens scored in double-figures, including sophomore Nicole Enabosi (Gaithersburg, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel), who led all scorers with 18 points and nine rebounds. Senior Makeda Nicholas (North Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon) added 16 points while sophomore Samone DeFreese (Bergenfield, N.J./Berkshire (Mass.)) scored a career-high 12 off the bench.

Delaware shot 26-34 (76.5 percent) from the free throw line for the game and connected on 10 of 12 attempts in the final period. Buffalo (1-0) connected on 11 three-pointers, outscoring UD 33-6 from behind the arc.

Buffalo placed three starters in double figures scoring led by 17 points from Cierra Dillard.

Delaware continues the season Monday night at the University of Hartford. Tipoff from Connecticut is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Delaware Head Coach Natasha Adair
“Today’s result is obviously not the outcome we wanted. I challenged our group today at halftime to finish strong when their lead had expanded. We talked about staying true to our principles. In the third quarter we made a run. You saw our veterans step up. I have to give kudos to Samone DeFreese. I thought she was a big spark for us off the bench. If we’re going to attempt 36 free throws, score 32 points in the paint and score 73 points, we’re going to win a lot of games. I believe that. We have work to do defensively, understanding our angles and our defensive concepts. Anytime you go and play on the road, you have to be focused for 40 minutes. We played spurts of really good defense, but we had a lull where they capitalized. All the credit to them.”

“We have good footage to be able to break down. Most importantly those first game jitters are out. I think all of the things that we have worked on and talked about are real. We need to be more intentional defensively and hold ourselves to having more discipline and focus on that end of the floor. Our locker room is not happy with the outcome, but they know that this is a business trip. We cannot allow the outcome today to affect the next. We will adjust and be ready Monday night.”

HEN SCRATCHINGS 
• Enabosi is now just 10 points away from reaching the 700 point mark. When she reaches that mark she will be the 44th person in program history. 
• Enabosi is also just two rebounds shy of the 22nd all-time mark.
• DeFreese, who played just 24 minutes in 12 games as a freshman in 2016-17, made her first career field goal Friday and shot 5-7 from the floor.

MEDIA INFORMATIONContact Andrew Stern | Anwstern@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-6519 | Cell: 914-589-9666