Delaware Overpowers Towson, Sweeps Season Series with 75-57 Victory on Senior Night
March 2, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- Sophomore All-American Elena Delle Donne (bottom left) led the way once again for the University of Delaware Wednesday night, scoring a game-high 31 points and adding seven rebounds as the Blue Hens overpowered Towson for a 75-57 Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball triumph at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens (17-12, 10-8 CAA), who were playing their final regular season game of the season, honored the team's lone senior, center Eva Riddick (at right), prior to the game and then went out and stormed past Towson, sweeping the series from the Tigers for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Delaware shot 53 percent from the field for the game (27 of 51), including a sizzling 17 of 26 performance from the field (.654) in the second half.
The victory assured Delaware of the No. 7 seed in upcoming CAA Tournament where the Hens will face No. 10 Northeastern. The game will be played March 10 at 5 p.m. at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. With the loss, Towson becomes the tournament No. 11 seed.
Delaware improved to 9-5 at home this season and was victorious on its home court for the fourth time in the last five games. Sophomore Lauren Carra chipped in with 10 points while sophomore Danielle Parker contributed nine points and nine rebounds as she came off the bench with Riddick getting the starting nod. Riddick, a four-year regular, played 12 minutes and contributed a rebound and a steal.
“This was a well-earned team win,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who won her 275th career game and has now led her teams to 17 or more wins 10 times in the last 12 seasons. “Our team goal is always to hold opponents under 60 points and we did that tonight. I’m happy for the kids. This has been a solid year considering everything we have been through. The bottom line is that we have a winning record and we will look to make some noise at the CAA Tournament.”
Towson (9-20, 3-15 CAA), which lost its third straight game and its sixth in the last seven outings, got a big effort from guard Krystal Parnell who scored 15 points and dished out a game-high eight assists. Simona Petronyte hit three three-pointers and finished with 11 points off the bench while Deree Fooks added nine points and six rebounds. Dovile Miliauskaite was held scoreless but pulled a team-high nine rebounds. The Tigers played without second leading scorer Sheree Ledbetter (8.9 ppg) who was serving a suspension.
Delle Donne, who entered the game averaging 24.4 points per game, surpassed the 30-point mark for the sixth time this season as she drained 10 of 17 shots from the field, hit three of four three-point attempts, and dropped in all eight of her free throw attempts, improving her incredible season free throw percentage to 93.4 percent (127 of 136). She would be leading the CAA in scoring put has not played in enough games (75 percent) to qualify after missing 12 games earlier this season with symptoms of Lyme disease.
The teams battled through some sluggish play in the first 10 minutes of the game with neither team leading by more than four points. The game was tied four times in the first stanza with Towson’s Tanisha McTiller draining two free throws with 8:43 left to tie things at 12-12.
But Delaware would take over from there and never let up. Sophomore guard Jaquetta May came off the bench to score five straight points for Delaware over a span of 26 seconds and her teammates followed with six straight points for an 11-0 run that gave UD a 23-12 advantage with 5:13 left.
Towson snapped an eight-minute field goal drought when Petronyte buried a three-pointer with 4:36 left to cut the lead to eight, but the Hens still took a 31-20 advantage in halftime.
Delaware never let Towson get close the rest of the evening as the Hens outscored the Tigers 9-2 over the first three minutes of the second half - including five by Delle Donne - to push the advantage to 18 points at 40-22. The Hens led by as many as 22 points at 61-39 on a Delle Donne jumper with 7:45 left and the Tigers never got closer than 15 points over the final 14 minutes.
The Blue Hens were nearly flawless in the second half as they connected on 17 of 26 shots from the field, including three of five from beyond the three-point arc, and closed out all seven of their free throw attempts. The 65.4 percent shooting mark from the field was the best of any second half this season for the Hens and best in any half since Delaware hit on 20 of 29 field goal attempts (69 percent) in the first half of a 79-61 win over Yale back on Nov. 20.
“This is just starting to sink in,” said Riddick, a health behavior science major who plans to enter the Peace Corps after graduation this May. “It was nice to go out a winner tonight. This is my last go round so I want to win it (CAA championship) more than ever and I think this team has the opportunity to win it all. I want to thank Coach Martin for all she has done for me. It’s been a great education and great career both academically and athletically.”Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives