NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware women’s basketball squad opened Colonial Athletic Association action with an overtime thriller Sunday afternoon as senior Kelsey Buchanan (South Riding, Va.) reached career-highs in points and rebounds while 18th year head coach Tina Martin notched her 350th career victory as the Blue Hens captured a 71-66 victory over Hofstra at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Buchanan erupted for career-highs of 27 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots and scored eight of Delaware’s nine points in overtime as the two-time defending CAA champion Hens (9-3, 1-0 CAA) picked up their 43rd straight league victory in regular season and tournament play since the 2011-12 season.

Freshmen guards Courtni Green (at right; Winchester, Va.) and Erika Brown (below left; Haledon, N.J.) each contributed 10 points while redshirt sophomore Joy Caracciolo (Manassas, Va.) came off the bench to pull down 13 rebounds for Delaware.

Hofstra held the lead the majority of the game until Buchanan gave UD a 47-45 advantage with 9:13 left in the second half.  From that point on, the game saw four lead changes and three tied scores.

With less than four minutes remaining in regulation, Hofstra was up by four points before Delaware went on a 7-0 run, all off of free throws, to take the lead, 62-59 with 16 seconds left on the clock. 

The Pride’s Annie Payton knocked down a three-pointer to tie things with 10 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Buchanan recorded the first score of the overtime period off of a put-back layup at the 3:55 mark and Delaware would never look back en route to victory.

Hofstra (5-7, 0-1 CAA), which lost for the second straight game, put four scorers in double figures and were led by Anma Onyeuku’s 14 points.

Head Coach Tina Martin  
On the win over Hofstra – “It was a difficult game.  Overall, I thought our team really struggled on the defensive end early and fell behind by double digits. Anytime you fall behind by double digits, you have to scrap, claw and fight. There were a lot of adjustments and there were times where it was challenging. Offensively, we had some good looks. Give Hofstra credit. They are obviously a very tough and scrappy team, but our kids hung in there.”
On playing their first CAA game – “I think all conference games are going to be like this. Everybody knows what you are doing and what offenses you run. The freshmen got a taste of conference play today and it’s only going to get more physical. They are going to have to get used to it and adjust. With this young of a group, we are going to be up and down. It was nice for us to fight for this win and get the victory.”
Senior tri-captain Kelsey Buchanan
On what led to Delaware’s comeback – “Defense, which is always a key for us. We matched up, so we were able to better defend the people in our area, especially with the guards sitting behind us.”
On having to work to get the win – “We definitely had to work hard to get the win. At times, it was getting away from us and we had to figure out how to bring it back. But, good teams do that and we need to work on being a better team that way.”
On taking the game over in the second half and overtime – “I definitely know that my teammates have my back, but sometimes I know they are going to look for me to score.”

Freshman Hannah Jardine
On the Blue Hens’ comeback – “We really just focused and had to bring more intensity on defense than we did in the first half. We started knocking down shots and Kelsey and Joy were really big on the boards offensively and defensively.”
On Kelsey Buchanan’s play against Hofstra – “She was incredible. It didn’t surprise me though because she plays just as well in practice and we know she is capable of doing great things. To see her grab those rebounds, she inspires us to work harder. It was really awesome to see her play well.”
On the physical nature of the game – “That was probably the most physical we have had to play over the last few games. It’s not necessarily something you want, but when a game is more physical, it brings up the intensity. I think we handled it well.”

Freshman Erika Brown
On the first CAA game of the season – “I think my team really stuck together today. We didn’t get down because we were down by 12. We just kept fighting and kept our heads up. That is a big key for us especially since we are so young.”
On the key to the Blue Hens’ comeback – “Everybody was just looking for their shots and not rushing. I thought we were rushing at times. When everyone settled down, we started hitting shots and getting momentum. Once we got the momentum, everyone was feeling good.”

     · Delaware has won three of the last four contests.
     · The Blue Hens are now 51-10 all-time against Hofstra and 30-1 against the Pride in Newark.
     · UD is 199-79 (.716) all-time at the Bob Carpenter Center.
     · Delaware has had at least two players score in double digits in all 12 games this season.
     · The Hens are 1-1 in overtime contests this season.
     · The all-time winningest coach in Delaware history, Tina Martin is 350-184 (.655) during her 18 seasons.
     · Kelsey Buchanan has scored in double figures in all 12 games this season.
     · Today’s game marked Buchanan’s third career double double.
     · Hannah Jardine collected a career-best nine points while seeing a career-high 32 minutes of action.
     · Jodi Salyer suffered a possible concussion in the first half and is day-to-day for the Blue Hens.

     · Thursday, Jan. 9 – Delaware at William & Mary* – 7 p.m. – Kaplan Arena (Williamsburg, Va.)
     · Sunday, Jan. 12 – Delaware at James Madison* – 2 p.m. – Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, Va.)
     · Friday, Jan. 17 – UNCW at Delaware* - 7 p.m. – Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, Del.)