Parker Puts up Another Double-Double, But Late Blue Hen Rally Falls Short in 62-59 Loss to Old Dominion
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware and Old Dominion women’s basketball rivalry has become one of the fiercest in the Colonial Athletic Association.
On Sunday at the Bob Carpenter Center, the two teams added yet another exciting chapter to that rivalry. And unfortunately for the Blue Hens, Old Dominion came out on top once again.
After taking a four-point lead at halftime, Delaware fell behind by 12 points in the second half but made a furious comeback that fell just short as the Blue Hens dropped a 62-59 verdict to the Monarchs.
League-leading Old Dominion (11-5, 5-0 CAA), which won its fifth straight game this season, downed the Blue Hens (10-6, 3-2 CAA) for the ninth straight time, but the last four have now come by a combined total of just seven points, including a 50-49 ODU win in last year’s CAA Tournament semifinals.
The Blue Hens, who had won four of their last five games, rallied from a 54-42 deficit with 4:01 left to play and pulled to within four points twice in the final minute of play but could never get closer.
“It’s frustrating,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. “I just told our team that they have to believe that they can beat the top teams in our league. They have to believe in themselves, especially in crunch-time situations. They have to rely on what they have been taught and keep their composure. If they can do that we can win games like this.”
Four Old Dominion starters reached double figures in scoring as guard Kquanise Byrd dropped in a career-high 22 points, including a layup with 46 seconds left that gave the Monarchs some breathing room. Tia Lewis added 13 points and five rebounds, Jasmine Parker contributed 11 points, and Alena Voronina contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, and four steals.
Delaware, playing its eighth straight game without All-American and leading scorer (26.0 points per game) Elena Delle Donne due to a back injury, got another big effort from forward Danielle Parker (top right) who recorded her sixth double-double of the season with a career-high 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Lauren Carra (bottom left) dded 12 points despite being plagued with foul trouble most of the day while Vanessa Kabongo contributed 10 points and Sarah Acker came off the bench to add four points and eight rebounds.
“Danielle is really coming into her own,” said Martin. “She's got great stuff and certainly has more and more ahead of her in her career. We are going to try and get her the basketball down on the blocks as much as we can.”
The Blue Hens moved into halftime with a 22-18 lead after a hard-fought opening 20 minutes that saw the teams combine for six ties and six lead changes. Delaware came out on top at the break thanks to a 6-0 run over the final four minutes that saw Kabongo and Parker each hit two free throws and Jocelyn Bailey convert a layup with 39 seconds left. Delaware, which forced 14 ODU turnovers in the half, held the Monarchs scoreless over the final 4:17 to take control.
Delaware maintained the lead for the first four minutes of the second half before Old Dominion’s Parker hit a free throw and Voronina followed with four straight points to put the Monarchs up 26-24 with 15:47 left to play. Those five points were part of a pivotal 18-6 run by the Monarchs that pushed the lead to double figures at 40-30 with 10:44 left to play. Old Dominion stayed in front by at least seven points for the next six minutes before the Monarchs took their biggest lead of the day at 54-42 on a Voronina layup with 4:01 remaining.
But the Blue Hens wouldn’t give in and slowly pared the lead down back to single digits, closing to within four points at 57-53 with two minutes left after three straight free throws by Danielle Parker capped an 11-3 run that included two big three-pointers from Carra.
Old Dominion’s Parker and Delaware’s Carra each traded two free throws to keep the margin at four but Byrd gave ODU some breathing room as she collected an errant pass in the backcourt that was almost stolen by Carra, and drove all way into the lane past a slew of UD defender to convert a layup and push the lead to 61-55 with 46 seconds left.
Jaquetta May hit a driving layup for Delaware with 22 seconds left to cut the lead to 61-57, but Shadasia Green came back to hit one free throw 13 seconds later to give ODU a 62-57 advantage. A jumper by Delaware’s Parker with one second left was too little too late.
Delaware will embark on a challenging two-game CAA road swing this week as the Hens travel to UNC Wilmington on Thursday and to Georgia State on Sunday.
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