Blue Hens Conclude Hokie Classic With Total Team Effort, Bring Home 76-36 Win Over Alcorn State
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell • top right, All-Tournament selection Lauren Carra, middle left Jaquetta May, bottom right Vanessa Kabongo
BLACKSBURG, Va. –As the 2010 portion of the season comes to an end, the University of Delaware women’s basketball team concluded the non-conference portion of the schedule with a decisive 76-36 victory over Alcorn State University in the consolation round of the Hilton Garden Inn Hokie Classic, hosted in Cassell Coliseum by Virginia Tech on Thursday evening.
After posting 12 points in the Hens’ first game against Vanderbilt University, followed by a 15-point night in the second, sophomore guard Lauren Carra was named to the All-Tournament Team. This is the second consecutive season that Carra has been named to an All-Tournament team, after being selected to the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational Team last season.
“Just a sophomore, she’s more than capable to go double-digits every night,” said Blue Hen head coach Tina Martin, whose squad split its games at the Classic. “She’s certainly stepping up to that task right now.”
With the 40-point win, the Hens posted their largest margin of victory since defeating University of Pennsylvania 78-34 on Nov. 30, 2005. The Braves’ 36 points was the fewest Delaware has allowed since holding Virginia Commonwealth University to just 37 in a 42-37 Blue Hen win on Feb. 7, 2008.
Delaware, which improved to 7-4 on the season, while halting a three-game slid, came out shooting, opening the game with a 15-0 run. The Hens kept Alcorn State, which fell to Virginia Tech on Wednesday, off of the scoreboard for the first five minutes of the contest, and did not allow a field goal for over eight minutes.
“We knew we had to come out strong,” said sophomore guard Jaquetta May, who finished with a game-high 16 points off the bench. “Yesterday we started off well, but then we lost it the second half of the game. We knew we had to play a full game today.”
May, who had a career-high scoring effort, was pivotal to the Hens’ success, accounting for nearly half of Delaware’s 35 points from the bench. She did so efficiently, knocking down six of her nine field goal attempts.
In the first half, Delaware utilized strong shooting from the field, hitting 17 of its 31 attempts (54.8), working to a 24-point lead with 34 seconds left in the half. The Hens took a 21-point, 39-18 advantage into the break after Alcorn’s Anastasia Tuset knocked down a trey with 20 seconds left.
At halftime, Carra was the only player in the game with double-figures, logging 11 on four-of-six shooting from the field, hitting two threes in process. Junior guard Vanessa Kabongo was the contest’s second leading scorer at the half, scoring eight points, going a perfect four-for-four from the field.
Working the ball to get high-percentage shots, Delaware tallied 42 of its points in the paint, including 22 in the second half.
Delaware’s offense continued to hit its shots, going 50 percent (14-28) from the field in the second stanza. The Hens concluded the tilt with a team shooting percentage of 52.5 percent, hitting 31 of their 59 attempts.
“Bottom line is, these kid’s are fighters,” said Martin of her team’s effort late in the game. “Tonight I told them the first five minutes were going to be crucial. If you let the other team in the game, than they (the opponent) believe they should be. We wanted to put their fire out right away.”
Three of Delaware’s guards finished with double-digit points, led by May’s 16, followed 15 from Carra and 11 from Kabongo. Nine different Blue Hens found the bottom of the basket, including sophomore Chelsea Craig, who logged her first career basket with 2:43 left in the game. Her points were the fourth in the Hens’ game-concluding 10-0 run.
Freshman Kelsey Buchanan finished the game with a career-best nine points, surpassing her previous mark set the day before of seven.
Alcorn State had just one player reach double-figures in scoring as Kiara Ruffin scored 10 points, going three-for-10 from the field. All but one of her attempts were from beyond the arc. She also hit one of her two free throw attempts.
Delaware was big on the boards, outrebounding the Braves 45-28, including 17 on the offensive glass, which led the 19 second chance points for the Hens. Of Alcorn’s 28 rebounds, 15 came on its offensive end.
The Hens capitalized on several Brave miscues, putting up 32 points on 29 Alcorn State turnovers.
In the championship game, Virginia Tech rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to defeat the Commodores of Vanderbilt 74-68, giving the Hokies their 17th title at the Hokie Classic, and hold an impressive 26-2 record at their own tournament. Virginia Tech freshman Monet Tellier sparked the comeback with a season-high 23 points, going nine of 14 from the field, earning her MVP honors. Junior Shanel Harrison joined her teammate on the All-Tournament team, while Vanderbilt's Hannah Tuomi and Jence Rhoads were selected. Kiara Ruffin was named from Alcorn State.
Delaware returns to the Bob Carpenter Center on Sunday, Jan. 2 and begins Colonial Athletic Association play when the Hens host Hofstra University. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.
“Now we have to go back home and get ourselves ready for Sunday,” said Martin of the upcoming conference match up. “That’s a big game against a very good Hofstra team, that’s going to be a tough ball game for us. We need all of our fans to come out and support these kids.”
Parker 3-5 3-4 9, Riddick 0-1 0-0 0, Bailey 3-5 0-0 6, Kabongo 4-6 3-4 11, Carra 6-10 1-3 15, May 6-9 4-7 16, McLean 0-4 0-0 0, Buchanan 4-10 1-2 9, Craig 1-1 0-0 2, Acker 3-6 0-2 6, Gibson 1-2 0-0 2, Team Totals: 31-59 12-22 76
Alcorn State (1-7)
Richmond 1-7 0-0 3, Stewart 2-6 3-4 7, Ambroise 0-0 0-0 0,Ruffin 3-10 1-2 10, Tuset 1-4 0-0 3, Smith 1-10 0-0 2, Andrews 1-5 1-2 3, Breedlove 2-10 4-6 8, Team Totals 11-52 9-14 36
Scores By Half: UD 39/37, ASU 18/18; Three Point Field Goals: UD – 2-7 (Carra 2-4, McLean 0-3), ASU 5-16 (Ruffin 3-9, Richmond 1-2, Tuset 1-3, Smith 0-1, Breedlove 0-1); Rebounds: UD 45 (May 7, Buchanan 7), ASU 28 (Team 7, Breedlove 6); Assists: UD 8 (Kabongo 3), ASU 9 (Smith 4); Fouled Out: UD none, ASU Stewart (7:06, 2nd half); Technicals: UD none, ASU none; Attendance: 2,183Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archive