Second-Chance Points And Rebounds Help #7 Delaware Advance to Quarterfinals with 74-66 win over #10 Northeastern
March 10, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – After putting up 26 second chance points on 26 offensive rebounds, the seventh-seeded University of Delaware women’s basketball team advanced to its eighth Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinals.
The Hens, who improved to 18-12 on the season, knocked off the tenth-seeded Huskies of Northeastern University 74-66 in the opening round of the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Championship.
“I thought we played very well in the first half,” said head coach Tina Martin, who will guide the Hens to the program’s 21st conference tournament quarterfinals. “Give Northeastern credit. They came back and started hitting threes and got the ball inside and they made a run at us.”
Delaware will face the No. 2 seed, Old Dominion University, who had a first-round bye with a 20-9 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the CAA in the quarterfinals on Friday at 5 p.m. The tournament is being held at the The Show Place Arena.
The Blue Hen offense was led by sophomore All-American and CAA first-teamer Elena Delle Donne (at right), who posted a team-high 18 points while also grabbing 18 boards. Junior Jocelyn Bailey recorded a 14-point effort while snaring six boards.
Only two players reached double digits, but a trio of Hens finished with nine points. Danielle Parker grabbed seven of her eight caroms on the offensive glass, Lauren Carra had five rebounds, all on offense, and junior Meghan McLean tallied a career-high nine points.
McLean (at left) also posted career numbers from three-point land, going three-for-five, surpassing her previous marks of two three-pointers made and three-pointers attempted.
Three Huskies tallied double figure points, including Jewel Tunstull, who posted a career-high 20 points. She was joined in double-digits by Dani Iervolino’s 14 points on five-of-seven shooting from the field and Jamie Conroy, who posted 10. Iervolino canned four of her six three-point attempts.
Tunstull had an outstanding evening from both the field, where she went six-for-six and at the charity stripe, where she knocked down eight of her 10 attempts.
Delaware improved to 7-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points. Thursday’s win is joined by 70-plus victories over Yale (79-61), Alcorn State (76-36), Hofstra (71-66), William & Mary (70-66), VCU (75-67) and Towson in the regular season finale (75-57).
The Blue Hens have dominated the series as of late, winning the last 19 meetings. Delaware has not lost to the Huskies since joining the CAA in 2001-02. Northeastern’s 66 points as the highest it has posted win its last win over Delaware, 90-67 in 1998-99.
In the first half, the Blue Hens dominated the affair, pulling down 11 rebounds on offense, matching Northeastern’s rebounding efforts in the half on both sides of the court. The Hens finished the first 20 minutes with 21 total rebounds.
Delle Donne was the games only double-digit scorer in the first half, posting 11 points on four-of-nine field goal shooting and hitting a pair of free throws.
The Hens took a comfortable 44-24 lead into the halftime break, with 19 points coming off the bench, paced by McLean’s nine. Sarah Acker chipped in seven points in the opening period. The Hens 44 points was the second-most they scored in a first half this year, falling five short of the 49-point opening half against Yale on Nov. 20.
But the Huskies, whose losing streak extended to 11, caught fire in the second half, getting to within five points of the lead, 63-58 with less than four minutes left in the game. Delaware got a scare when Bailey tumbled to the floor, cutting her nose and had to leave the court to change her uniform, which had blood on it. She returned wearing #43, and is expected to play tomorrow.
Delaware will look to avenge a season sweep against Old Dominion, who defeated the Hens 62-59 on Jan. 13 in Newark and 70-61 in Norfolk on Feb. 27. The Hens will also look to snap a 10-game skid versus the Monarchs.
The Blue Hens will need to tweak their shooting, as they went 25-67 (37.3 percent) from the field, while the Huskies went 52.4 percent (22-42), joining Penn State as the only two teams to shoot over 50 percent from the field this season.
On the glass, it was all Blue Hens, who utilized their height to their advantage, out rebounding Northeastern 44-23, allowing the Huskies just three offense rebounds and two second chance points.
Defensively, Delaware came up with 12 steals, including three by Carra. The Hens only had the ball stolen away from them on two occasions, two of which were by Conroy. Delle Donne, Riddick and Acker each knocked away one Northeastern shot.
At the charity stripe, Delaware went 10-of-15, including a perfect five-for-five from Delle Donne, who has 94 of her last 100 free throw attempts (94.0 percent).
“I’m very happy to be facing Old Dominion tomorrow,” said Martin her of 21st meeting with the Monarchs. “Our defense came in and made stops when they had to and I’m happy we survived and can move on.”
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