Missed Opportunities Plague Delaware in Second Half as Blue Hens Drop Rare 51-48 Decision to George Mason in CAA Play
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- Too many missed opportunities in the second half took their toll Thursday night as the University of Delaware women's basketball team suffered a rare setback to George Mason with a 51-48 Colonial Athletic Association loss at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delaware (11-8, 4-4 CAA), which lost for the third time in the last four outings, led the entire second half before an 11-1 George Mason run gave the Patriots the lead and the Blue Hens could never regain the advantage.
George Mason improved to 9-10 (3-5 CAA) and snapped a five-game losing streak to Delaware, downing the Hens for just the second time in the last 15 outings since the 2003-04 season.
Blue Hen junior guard Vanessa Kabongo (at right) scored all of her game-high 12 points in the first half as Delaware jumped out to a 30-24 lead. Lauren Carra netted 10 points and dished out four assists while Jocelyn Baily contributed seven points and Danielle Parker added six points, a team-high seven rebounds, and four steals.
George Mason got a balanced effort as Amber Easter scored 11 points, pulled a game-high 12 rebounds, and made a steal to end the game, while Angelee LaTouche, Taleia Moton, and Brittany Eley contributed eight points apiece.
“We had numerous opportunities to go to the basket with our guards tonight, but we made some bad decisions,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, whose team was undone by 15 turnovers and 22 percent shooting from the field (4 of 18) in the second half. “Instead of giving the ball up, we barged into people. Instead of getting to the basket, we tried to pull up and threw the ball away. It was very frustrating to watch.”
Delaware held the lead the entire first half and took a 30-24 advantage into the break thanks to Kabongo, who scored all 12 of her points, including connecting on two three-pointers. The Hens maintained a narrow lead for the first nine minutes of the second stanza before two three-pointers by George Mason’s Eley 90 seconds apart knotted the score at 36-36.
The Hens answered with a layups from Jocelyn Bailey and Kelsey Buchanan to re-take the lead at 40-36 with 8:50 left, but Patriot backup guard Christine Weithman started a pivotal 11-1 Mason run with a three-pointer from the left corner 40 seconds later and her jumper at the 7:00 mark gave the visitors their first outright lead of the game at 41-40.
Delaware tied it up moments later on a free throw from Jaquetta May, but Saunders drained a three-pointer and added a layup to help Mason build its biggest lead of the night at 47-41 with 4:38 remaining.
Although Mason never relinquished the lead the rest of the night, the Patriots gave the Hens plenty of chances to get back into the game. However, the Hens could never take advantage as they continually failed to convert off George Mason turnovers and missed shots down the stretch. Delaware managed just one field goal over the final 4:03 as the Hens missed two free throws and turned the ball over twice when it counted most.
After Bailey made one of two free throws with 2:10 left to cut the gap to 49-46, George Mason turned the ball over twice but the Hens could not capitalize until Delaware’s Meghan McLean dropped in two free throws with 38 seconds left to cut the lead to 49-48.
Saunders hit two free throws for Mason one second later to push the lead back to 51-48. McLean threw the ensuing inbounds pass out of bounds but the Hens got the ball back when Saunders turned the ball over with nine seconds left. Kabongo then raced down the court with the chance to tie but couldn’t get a three-point shot off as she was tied up at the top of the key and Mason’s Easter stole the ball to end the game.
Delaware will return to action Sunday when the Blue Hens travel to Long Island to take on Hofstra at 2 p.m. The Blue Hens, who defeated the Pride 71-66 back on Jan. 2 in Newark, hope to have the services of All-American forward Elena Delle Donne for the first time since December. Delle Donne, who was leading the nation in scoring at 26.0 points per game, missed her 11th straight game Thursday night but could return after being treated for symptoms of Lyme Disease.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archive