Short-Handed Blue Hens Suffer First Loss of the Season, Drops 68-50 Verdict to Ivy Champion Princeton
December 1, 2010
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The short-handed University of Delaware women's basketball squad, off to its best start in school history, suffered its first loss of the season Wednesday night as the Blue Hens dropped a 68-50 verdict to defending Ivy League champion Princeton at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Hens (5-1), whose 5-0 start was matched only by the 1992-93 squad in UD history, played without starters Elena Delle Donne and Jocelyn Bailey and never seriously threatened during the second half after leading midway through the first stanza. Delaware entered the game ranked No. 10 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll.
Delle Donne, a 2010 All-American as a freshman and a national Player of the Year candidate who is averaging an NCAA-best 27.4 points per game this season, is being evaluated for fatigue. Bailey, who is averaging 6.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, suffered a concussion in last Sunday's win at La Salle but is expected to return for this Sunday's game at Navy.
Sophomore forward Danielle Parker (at right) picked up much of the slack for the Blue Hens as she posted her second straight double-double and fourth of the season with team-highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Vanessa Kabongo (bottom left) added 12 points and Sarah Acker and Lauren Carra each chipped in with seven points. The Hens shot just 36.7 percent from the field (18 of 49) and were hurt by 13 of 25 free throw shooting and 21 turnovers.
“We had to play great tonight without those two young ladies (Delle Donne and Bailey) and we didn’t,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. “Right now we're not capable of doing that. We missed our opportunities, missed some easy ones, we hung our heads after we missed some easy ones. One game doesn't make a season, one game doesn't break your season unless it's a championship game. This is far from a championship game. It's the sixth game of the year. We need to learn from this. We've got to be more aggressive, even without the people we're currently missing.”
Princeton (4-2), which earlier this season defeated Southern Cal and was coming off a tough 74-68 loss to No. 22 Vanderbilt, got a balanced effort as Addie Micir scored a game-high 18 points backed by 6 of 7 shooting from beyond the three-point line while Niveen Rasheed added 17 points and 14 rebounds and Devona Allgood contributed 13 points.
The Tigers, the defending Ivy League champions and currently ranked No. 5 in the CollegeInsider.com poll, scored the last 11 points of the first half to go into halftime up 29-17 and led by double digits the entire second half on the way to the victory.
Princeton jumped out to a six-point lead early but the Blue Hens fought back and used a 10-0 run, highlighted by five straight points from Parker in a span of 49 seconds, to take a 14-10 lead with 12:25 left in the first stanza. Micir knocked down two straight three-pointers to give the lead back to Princeton, but a lay-up by Kabongo with 9:02 left narrowed the Tiger lead to 18-16.
Unfortunately, that was the last basket the Hens would score during the half as Princeton closed the stanza with an 11-0 run and went into intermission up 29-17. The Hens could manage only a single free throw by Carra over the final 9:02 as they missed on their final seven shots from the field.
Princeton scored the first two buckets of the second half to push the lead to 16 points before Parker ended the nearly 10-minute field goal drought with a conventional three-point play with 19:14 left and added a layup less than 20 seconds later to cut the gap to 33-22. Carra added a three-pointer less than a minute later, but the Hens could never get the lead under double digits the rest of the night.
Princeton, which became the first team to outrebound the Hens this season by posting a 41-35 advantage on the boards, pushed the lead to 50-30 with 11:29 left on another Micir three-pointer and gained its biggest lead at 24 points when the Tigers registered a 66-42 advantage with 2:51 remaining.
Delaware had entered the game ranked No. 1 in the Colonial Athletic Association and No. 5 in the NCAA in rebounding margin with an impressive mark of +17.0 per game.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archive