BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The University of Delaware women’s basketball team forced 21 Youngstown State University turnovers Friday evening, which resulted in 31 total points as the Blue Hens defeated the Penguins, 69-48, on the first day of the Christmas City Classic, hosted at Stabler Arena by Lehigh University.

With the win, Delaware (7-2) advances to Saturday’s championship game against the Mountain Hawks (7-2), who picked up an 87-78 win over Vermont earlier Friday.

Senior Kelsey Buchanan (South Riding, Va.) led UD in scoring once again as she put up 17 points and five rebounds against YSU.  Classmate Akeema Richards (Baltimore, Md.) added 12 points, five rebounds and three assists while sophomore Courtni Green (Winchester, Va.) collected 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists for the Hens.

Redshirt freshman Jodi Salyer (Roanoke, Va.) earned the first start of her career against the Penguins and responded with career-bests of six assists, six points, and three steals. 

Sophomore Jade Clark (Ashburn, Va.) led all players with a career-high nine rebounds, eight of which were on the defensive end.

Heidi Schlegel led the Penguins (3-7) with 17 points while Jenna Hirsch and Monica Touvelle each added eight of their own in the loss.

Head Coach Tina Martin – “It’s still frustrating at times as we’re young and sometimes we just don’t get it yet.  We just have to keep rolling with it, eventually the light bulb will go on.  I love these kids and I love the fact that we’re winning games, but we still have a long way to get where I want us to be.  We’ll take the win and play against a really good Lehigh team tomorrow, which is exactly what we wanted to do.  We wanted to get to the championship game and have this young group play for their first championship.”

Senior Guard Akeema Richards – “At halftime, coach was making sure that we put a better emphasis on defense in the second half.  We decided to switch up on some screens, which made things easier on us.:
[On her personal scoring efforts]: "I have a lot more confidence this year after working out this summer.  My confidence continues to grow and with that, my shot is coming along well.”

     ·     Delaware has had at least three players score in double figures in eight games this season, including all seven victories.
     ·     Jodi Salyer earned the first start of her career against YSU.
     ·     Kelsey Buchanan has scored in double figures in all nine games this year.
     ·     The Blue Hens are now 1-1 all-time against Youngstown State.
     ·     Delaware holds a 17-10 advantage against Lehigh all-time and has won seven straight dating to the 1989-90 season and 12 of the last 13 since 1987-88.
     ·     The last time the Blue Hens matched up against the Mountain Hawks resulted in a 65-51 win on December 30, 2004 to capture the Christmas City Classic title.

     ·     Saturday, Dec. 21 – Delaware at Lehigh (Lehigh Christmas City Classic Championship Game) – 4:30 p.m. – Stabler Arena (Bethlehem, Pa.)
     ·     Monday, Dec. 30 – St. John’s at Delaware – 5 p.m. – Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, Del.)
     ·     Sunday, Jan. 5 – Hofstra at Delaware – CAA Opener – 2 p.m. – Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, Del.)