Carra's Clutch Free Throws Preserve 60-55 Victory at Navy
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – With the University of Delaware women's basketball team holding a narrow 58-55 victory over the Navy Midshipmen Sunday afternoon, Lauren Carra nailed a pair of free throws with just five seconds on the clock to preserve the Hen's 60-55 victory in Alumni Hall, improving Delaware to 6-1 on the season and staying a perfect 3-0 on the road.
Carra (at right) finished the game with a team second-best 16 points, going four of seven from beyond the arc and hitting all four of her free throws.
The Hens enjoyed the return of the nation's leading scorer, Elena Delle Donne, who missed the Princeton game and played in just six minutes of the La Salle game with a viral illness. Delle Donne managed 20 points in her return, while also grabbed seven rebounds and a game-high tying three rebounds along with two blocks.
The Midship jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but the Hens answered back, knotting the affair at eight all. Navy (4-4) expanded its lead to as many as eight with 6:57 left in the first half, holding a 31-23 advantage. A Delle Donne three-pointer brought Delaware back to within four of the lead as the Mids took a 34-30 lead into the brea, with the first half featuring three ties and four lead changes.
"You got to give Navy credit. First of all, they've played Flordia, they've play Villanova, they've played some good teams, they've had the leads in the those games. I know they shoot the ball well, shoot it well here at home. They went out on Harvard, which is second behind Princeton in the Ivy (League)," said head coach Tina Martin of the team that forced the Hens to come from behind. "Bottom line was, after playing those three programs (Harvard, Florida and Villanova), I knew this wasn't going to be an easy game. That's a team that will be playing for a championship or win a championship in the Patriot League."
Martin motivated her team in the locker room, as sophomore guard Jaquetta May hit a running layup with 15:22 remaining in the game, while also picking up the and one. May made good on the free throw, giving Delaware its first lead since the Hens held a slim 15-14 advantage with 12:37 left in the first half.
With 9:10 remaining on the clock, Carra canned back-to-back threes to put Delaware up 52-45. Not to be outdown, the Mids' Cassie Consedine answered back with one of her four shots from deep, pulling Navy back to within four with 7:55 in the game.
Prior to the games final media timeout, Delle Donne (at left) was fouled with 2:57. After the break, she stepped up and knocked down a pair of shots from the charity stripe to all but seal the win for the Hens.
The Mids, who finished third in the Patriot League a year ago, kept the ball game interesting, as point guard Angela Myers hit a three pointer followed by a layup to get Navy to within three of the Hens. But it was Carra's late-game heroics that locked up Delaware's fourth consecutive win over the Midshipmen, including the first in Annapolis since the 1988-89 season.
"I really thought Lauren Carra was the star of the game," Martin said of the 5-9 guard, who has been playing the point this season with Kayla Miller out. "Carra has been playing out of position all year long, she's playing at the point guard spot and she's not a point guard. With the injury to Kayla, we were thinking that Lauren could be a good backup point guard, with maybe around 10 minutes a game at point guard, now every game she has to play 35 minutes at point guard."
Delle Donne was the game's leading scorer, followed closey by Myers' 19 points and Consedine's 18. Myers flirted with a triple-double, pulling down 11 boards and handing out eight assists. Delaware forward Danielle Parker was just one point shy of logging her third consecutive double-double, finishing with nine points and 11 caroms, grabbing a balanced five on offense and six on defense.
The Blue Hens enjoyed excellent play from the bench, where Delaware got 11 of its points, led by Sarah Acker's six, while she also chipped in three of the team's five blocks. Delle Donne accounted for the other pair. Acker went perfect from the field, scoring on all three of her field goal attempts.
Delaware also had the return of Jocelyn Bailey, who missed the Princeton game with concussion syndromes suffered in the La Salle game. She contributed four points along with six rebounds, going two-for-two from the line.
As a team, Delaware had one its best outings of the season, and finest in a road game this year, from the free throw line, canning 86.7 percent (13-15) of its attempts, the best since Delaware defeated Villanova 69-62 in the second game of the season.
Delaware continued a five-game streak of not allowing an opponent reach 20 points, a run which also dates back to the Villnova game. Delle Donne tallied her 29th career game with 20 or more points. She closes in on the 1,000-point bench mark, amassing 931 points in just 35 career games.
The Blue Hens are idle for two weeks as the University heads into its finals week. Delaware returns to action on Dec. 19 when it heads to the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa. to take on the Lady Lions of Penn State. Tip is set for 2 p.m.
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