No. 22 Blue Hens Pull Away in Second Half, Remain Undefeated With 70-57 Victory at Wake Forest
December 11, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The No. 22 ranked University Delaware women's basketball squad continued its hot start - and made history yet again - with a 70-57 victory over Wake Forest in a physical battle at the Joel Lawrence Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Backed by another brilliant performance from All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right) and a strong all-around defensive effort, the unbeaten Blue Hens (8-0) made history by defeating their first Atlantic Coast Conference opponent in the 41-year history of the program.
The Hens were previously 0-16 vs. current ACC teams and 0-1 against Wake Forest before handing the Demon Deacons only their second loss of the season.
“To come into an ACC building against a team that is 7-1 and come away with a double-digit win speaks volumes about this team and its heart right now,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, whose team continues to build on the best start in school history and is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in school history. “Overall, they did a terrific job. It was a battle on the boards and physically, and we definitely put our wheel in the game and won that battle in the second half. When you go up against a powerhouse, it feels good to get the win.”
The nation's leading scorer at 29.1 points per game, Delle Donne surpassed the 20-point mark for the 12th straight game and recorded her third double-double of the season as she netted a game-high 30 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. She also added three assists, three blocks, and went a perfect 11 of 11 from the free throw line.
After Wake Forest knotted the score at 46-46 with 13:56 left to play, Delaware took control of the game as the Blue Hens took off on a 19-3 run that the put the game away.
Delle Donne started the run with a jumper and contributed 11 points during the span while Joceyln Bailey scored all five of her points during the run, including a free throw with 3:08 left to play that extended the Blue Hen lead to 65-49.
Wake Forest (7-2) did not make a field goal during a span of 11 minutes and 27 seconds, missing eight straight shots and turning the ball over six times during a drought that decided the outcome.
Delaware is now one of just 12 women's teams in NCAA Division I without a loss this season. Wake Forest lost for just the second time this season and had a five-game win streak snapped, falling for the first time since a 74-73 setback to Kansas back on Nov. 20.
Delle Donne’s 30 points were enough to surpass current Delaware’s assistant coach Tiara Malcom’s career scoring total and move her into fourth place on the all-time Blue Hen scoring list with 1,565 points.
Lauren Carra added 11 points to aid the Blue Hen effort while adding four steals and grabbing three boards, Trumae Lucas contributed nine points and three steals, and Danielle Parker added eight rebounds and seven points.
Overall, the Demon Deacons shot just 36.5 from the field (19 for 52) but did convert 7 of 16 three-pointers. Three players scored in double figures for the Demon Deacons led by guard Chelsea Douglas with 15 points, including shooting four of seven from the three-point range.
Secily Ray and Sandra Garcia each scored 10 points while sophomore Lindsy Wright grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Brooke Thomas added a game-high four steals and recorded six points and one assist.
Despite shooting only 34.9 percent from the field (22 of 63), the Hens were able to hold onto the ball as they committed just 11 turnovers, nearly half of Wake Forest’s total of 21.
The physical battle left the Demon Deacons doubling the Blue Hens in personal fouls, 26-13. The Hens took advantage and went 22 of 26 for 84.6 percent on the charity stripe.
Delaware, grabbing 42 rebounds on the day, has now won the rebounding battle in all eight games this season. The Blue Hens posted a +5 margin against Wake Forest and currently rank 18th in the nation with a +10.5 rebounding advantage per game.
Wake Forest scored the first basket of the game on a jumper from Mykala Walker, marking the second straight game and only the second time this season that an opponent has scored first.
The Blue Hens answered back with a 10-3 run with 16:18 left in the first half, highlighted by nine straight points from Delle Donne, including a three-pointer, to go up 11-3.
With just over five minutes to go in the first half, Camille Collier hit two three-pointers, followed by a jumper by Secily Ray, to pull Wake to within 30-28. A three-point play by Ray pulled Wake Forest within one point of the Hens, making the score 32-31 with 2:16 to go.
Another three-pointer by Chelsea Douglass put Wake Forest up 34-32, giving the Deacons their first lead since early in the game. The Demon Deacons used a 13-3 run to extend their lead to 36-33 with 1:21 left in the first half, but the Hens answered back as Delle Donne utilized an old fashioned three-point play to tie it up at 36-36 to end the first half.
Carra hit a layup to start the second half, giving the Hens a two-point advantage. Both teams traded the lead several times until Ray hit a layup at the 13:56 mark to tie the score for the last time at 46-46.
Delaware looks to continue its winning ways as the Blue Hens head to Big East foe Providence on Monday, December 19, for a 7 p.m. tipoff against the Lady Friars in Providence, R.I.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives