Delaware Women’s Basketball Drops Colonial Athletic Association Title Game to James Madison, 70-45; Awaits WNIT Bid
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – Top-seeded James Madison University dashed the hopes of a third straight Colonial Athletic Association Championship for the second-seeded University of Delaware women’s basketball Sunday afternoon as the Blue Hens fell to the Dukes, 70-45, in the conference title game at the Show Place Arena.
Senior Akeema Richards (Baltimore, Md.) led the Hens with 12 points, all of which came in the second half of play. Richards added two rebounds, two steals and an assist in 17 minutes of action.
Redshirt sophomore Joy Caracciolo (at left; Manassas, Va.) was named to the CAA All-Tournament team after collecting 10 rebounds and eight points against JMU. For the weekend, Caracciolo averaged 11 points and 10.3 rebounds in three games.
Delaware also saw a double figure scoring effort from sophomore Courtni Green (Winchester, Va.), who put up 10 points and four rebounds.
Participating in her fourth straight CAA title game, senior Kelsey Buchanan (below right; South Riding, Va.) also earned All-Tournament accolades and tallied six points and eight rebounds vs. the Dukes. Buchanan set a new program tournament record in Saturday’s game with 19 rebounds against the College of Charleston. Throughout the weekend’s three games, Buchanan posted 13.7 points and 11.7 rebounds.
Delaware was held to just eight field goals and 18 points to trail James Madison, 18-38, at halftime. The Dukes quickly jumped out to a 29-point lead in the second half.
JMU (28-5) was able to hold its advantage for the remainder of the game en route to its seventh CAA Championship. Jazmon Gwathmey set a career-high with 20 points and tied a personal-best with 14 rebounds to pace the Dukes.
Head Coach Tina Martin
“Today was definitely not our day, but I’m not going to dwell on this loss. This team has come so far this season and no one expected us to be in this position. We’re going to the WNIT and I’m looking forward to this group being able to compete in another post-season situation. Congratulations to JMU as they are the best team in the league and it would have taken a major upset in order to knock them off. We wish them well in the NCAA Tournament.”
Senior Kelsey Buchanan
“Of course this is a disappointing loss, but early on we didn’t rebound how we should have and we didn’t play defense the way we should have.”
· Delaware snapped an eight-game winning streak in the CAA Tournament. The team’s last two losses in the CAA Tournament came to James Madison in the 2011 and 2014 Championship games.
· UD is now 21-11 all-time and 1-4 against the Dukes in the CAA Tournament.
· Courtni Green (at left) collected two three-pointers to move to 66 in her career, a mark that is good to tie for 10th all-time in Delaware history.
· Kelsey Buchanan has been a part of a CAA Championship game in each of her four seasons at Delaware.
· The Blue Hens will appear in their seventh WNIT. The last time Delaware played in the WNIT was in 2011.
· WNIT Schedule TBA