NEWARK, Del. – In a game that featured 18 lead changes, the University of Delaware women’s basketball squad fell just short Monday evening as St. John’s University came out on top with a 61-58 victory over the Blue Hens to close out non-conference action at the Bob Carpenter Center.

The main storyline came on the boards as the Hens (8-3) were outrebounded, 41-28, by the Red Storm (8-4).  The last time Delaware grabbed 28 or fewer rebounds came on Jan. 13, 2011 when the Hens picked up 28 against William & Mary.

With three minutes left in the game, the two teams held a 54-54 tie before St. John’s went on a 5-0 run to lead, 59-54 with just over a minute remaining.  Senior Kelsey Buchanan (South Riding, Va.) knocked down two free throws to cut the lead to three with 23 seconds on the clock before classmate Akeema Richards (at right; Baltimore, Md.) drained two more to come within one at 59-58.

The Red Storm’s Keylantra Langley gave the Red Storm two more free throws to go up, 61-58 with 12 seconds left. 

Delaware failed to tie the game as freshman Erika Brown (Haledon, N.J.) just missed a three-pointer as time expired.

The Blue Hens, who returned to the Bob Carpenter Center for the first time since Nov. 19, were led in scoring by Buchanan, who posted 16 points in addition to seven rebounds and a career-best five assists.  Freshman Shanice Johnson (at left; Philadelphia, Pa.) added 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals for UD.

St. John’s Amber Thompson collected her second double double of the season with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Head Coach Tina Martin – “We did enough good things that we stayed in the game. St. John’s is very talented and they are very athletic. They get to the rim very well. You are never going to stop a team like St. John’s; they are too athletic. They have some seniors and some terrific athletes on that team. We didn’t rebound the ball today and that’s the bottom line. If we rebound the basketball, we win the game. But, we did not do that. It’s time to head into the conference play and you hope that your non-conference games prepare you for the conference schedule. We will see if we grow up and see if we battle. This will be the type of game we play in the CAA.”
Senior tri-captain Kelsey Buchanan – “Our attack was not as tough as it should be. We went zone, which is something we have been working on, and it really threw us for a loop, especially on the rebounding aspect.”

Senior tri-captain Akeema Richards – “I just think we need to refocus. We are going to get back in the gym and focus on defense and rebounding more. We need to be tougher on the defensive end because defense wins games and defense wins championships. We didn’t execute the game plan as well as we would have liked. When we come back on Sunday, we will be ready.”

Redshirt Freshman Jodi Salyer – “We didn’t move our feet, we didn’t rotate and we didn’t rebound. They got too many second chance points. You are going to lose a game when you give your opponent 44 points in the paint.”

      ·  Delaware is now 3-2 against St. John’s all-time.  Both losses have come at the Bob Carpenter Center.
      ·  The Blue Hens snapped a two-game winning streak.
      ·  UD is 198-79 (.715) all-time at the Bob Carpenter Center.
      ·  Delaware was outrebounded for just the second time this season; the Hens were previously outrebounded, 37-35, at Lehigh.
      ·  UD’s previous low-rebounding game came with 35 rebounds at Lehigh.
      ·  Kelsey Buchanan has scored in double figures in all 11 games this season.
      ·  Buchanan dished out a career-best five assists.

      ·  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.)
      ·  Sunday, Jan. 12 – Delaware at James Madison* – 2 p.m. – Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, Va.)