No. 19 Blue Hen Women’s Basketball Remains Unbeaten With 68-47 Victory Over Big East Foe Providence
December 19, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- University of Delaware junior All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right) again led the way with 29 points and nine rebounds as the 19th-ranked University of Delaware women’s basketball team remained undefeated with a 68-47 victory over Providence College Monday night at Alumni Hall.
Delle Donne, the nation’s leading scorer at 29.2 points per game, surpassed the 20-point mark for the 13th straight game as she equaled her season average by going 9 of 13 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line.
Five other Blue Hens contributed six points each including junior forward Danielle Parker, who also tied Delle Donne with a team-leading nine boards.
The Blue Hens, one of nine remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I, improved their school-record start to 9-0 on the season. Providence, the second Big East opponent to fall to Delaware this season, dropped to 5-6 on the year.
Delaware moved up to No. 19 in the Dec. 19 Associated Press Top 25 poll announced prior to the game in response to the Hens’ perfect start to the season. The Blue Hens are also ranked at No. 23 in the Dec. 13 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
The game was tied at 8-8 through the first four minutes but the Blue Hens quickly took control with a 12-2 spurt, going ahead 20-10 on a three-point play by Trumae Lucas at the 9:24 mark. Delaware eventually took a 14-point lead on a three-pointer by Delle Donne, while a Lauren Carra layup with 11 seconds left gave the Blue Hens a 36-22 halftime advantage.
Delaware then scored the first eight points of the second half, including four each by Delle Donne and Akeema Richards, to double up the Lady Friars at 44-22 with 17:08 to play. The Blue Hens led by at least 20 points until the final seconds, taking their largest lead at 61-33 with 7:04 to play on a pair of free throws by Parker.
“We just came out in la-la land, but I told the team they needed to dig in, and they bounced back,” said Blue Hen head coach Tina Martin. “We really turned it on at the beginning of the second half. We just have to get to that point where we can maintain a lead and be consistent even when we take two or three starters off the floor.”
The Blue Hens shot 51.1 percent from the field (23 of 45) and went an impressive 18 of 20 from the free throw line during the victory. Meanwhile, Delaware limited Providence to just 29.2 percent shooting (19 of 65) as the Lady Friars were just 2 of 16 from behind the arc.
Delle Donne led Delaware with a game-high 29 points, while five Blue Hens contributed six points apiece. Two players scored in double-digits for the Lady Friars, including Rachel Barnes with a team-high 13 points, and senior Teya Wright, the only Friar to hit double scoring figures in each of the team’s 11 games this season, with 10 points.
Delaware, grabbing 40 rebounds on the day, has now won the rebounding battle in all nine games this season. Providence out-rebounded the Hens 19-17 in the first half, including a 10-3 edge for the Lady Friars on offensive boards. The Hens managed to out-rebound the Lady Friars with a +8 margin overall, but lost the offensive rebounding battle 18-9 to the Friars.
Providence started the game on a 5-0 run, marking the third straight game and only the third time this season that an opponent has scored first against the Hens. Delaware has now outscored opponents 109-44 before the first media timeout on the year, including outscoring the Lady Friars 10-8 on Monday night.
After falling behind 5-0 in the first minute of play, the Blue Hens answered back as they knotted the score at eight and went on a 20-5 run over the next 10 minutes to double up the Lady Friars at 20-10 with 9:24 left in the first half.
Five different Hens scored on the run, including three-point shots from Lucas and Delle Donne, who had eight points in the run. Delaware outscored Providence 28-14 after tying up the score 8-8 with 15:52 left in the first half. Delaware shot 53.8 percent from the floor, while Providence shot 29 percent, giving the Hens a 36-22 lead at halftime.
Only three Lady Friars scored in the first half, compared to seven Hens who put numbers on the scoreboard. Delaware came out of the gates hot in the second half with four quick points from Delle Donne and Richards, forcing an early Friar time out.
The Hens continued on a 18-5 run up to the 13:23 mark, highlighted by 12 points from Delle Donne, with six of those points coming from the charity stripe. Richards added six points to help give Delaware a 54-27 lead.
With 5:04 left in the game, Providence rallied on a late 8-3 run to make it a closer score at 65-47 but never got closer.
Delaware, which was playing its first game since Dec. 11 due to final exams, takes another nine-day break before returning to action Dec. 28-29 when the Hens compete at the University of Maryland Terrapin Classic. Delaware will play East Carolina in the opening round while the No. 5 ranked Terrapins will take on Lafayette in the opener.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives