Blue Hens Hold Penn State Under Scoring Average, But Fall 64-55 on the Road
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Against a team that averages 87.8 points a game, the University of Delaware women’s basketball team battled the Big Ten’s leading offensive squad in Penn State University, falling by a narrow 64-55 margin on Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center.
“We thought we had to keep it around 60 points,” said Blue Hen head coach Tina Martin, whose squad faced the Lady Lions for the first time since Nov. 29, 1991 and first time under Martin. “Penn State has been averaging a lot of points, and if you allow them to run, they have enough people that can put the ball in the basket, and they’re going to score a lot of points.
The two teams locked in for a defensive battle in the first half, with the Blue Hens, who slipped to 6-2 this season, holding onto a 25-24 lead at the break, holding the Lady Lions to their second lowest point total in a half this season.
In the opening stanza, Delaware went with its big lineup, starting Jocelyn Bailey, Elena Delle Donne, Danielle Parker, Lauren Carra (at right) and Sarah Acker. The two teams traded the lead seven times, while tying on another three occasions. At the 15-minute mark, the Lady Lions, who improved to 10-2, grabbed a 9-3 lead. But the Blue Hens rallied and pulled within one of the lead on three free throws from Danielle Parker.
Junior guard Vanessa Kabongo put Delaware up by three after canning a 12-foot jumper at the 9:37 mark. But Penn State knotted the game at 15 all after freshman Maggie Lucas, knocked down one of her two deep shots in the first half.
Over the final five minutes of the first half, the teams tied twice. In the waning moments of the period, with Penn State up by one following a Julia Trogele three-pointer, Delaware’s Jaquetta May rolled in a layup to take the half time lead.
Penn State, which is ranked No. 6 in the country in scoring offense, took control in the second half as Lucas finished the game with four three pointers, hitting the Lady Lions’ only treys in the second half.
“I though in the first half, she (Lucas) was not comfortable at all against us”, said Martin of Penn State’s leading scorer. “Penn State’s offensive rebounds, one led to one of her threes.”
Penn State managed to grab 16 offensive rebounds throughout the game, which helped lead to 17 second-chance points. Delaware, which dropped its first game on the road this season, had miscues that lead to the Lady Lions’ putting up 20 points off of turnovers.
Delaware’s sophomore All-American Delle Donne (at left) was the game’s leading scorer, putting up 25, including 17 in the second half. She was responsible for all four of Delaware’s three-pointers, taking eight chances. As a squad, Delaware 55.0 percent from the field in the second half, going 11 of 20.
The Hens rebounding effort was led by Carra, who snagged a career-high nine boards, finishing second in the game. Six-foot three-inch junior Acker grabbed a team second-best six rebounds while Delle Donne pulled down five caroms.
Playing in just nine minutes, May made an impact on the defensive end, coming up with two steals and three rebounds, while also putting up four points.
Delaware will play in its final home game of the 2010 calendar year on Wednesday evening when it hosts nearby Saint Joseph’s University. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. in the Bob Carpenter Center, and will be followed by a men’s basketball game versus Pennsylvania.
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