Blue Hens Stun Old Dominion 72-55 In the CAA Quarterfinals, Advance to Semifinals for Second Straight Year to Face UNC Wilmington
March 11, 2011
Game Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – Since 1992, the Old Dominion University women’s basketball team has been in 18 of the last 19 tournament finals, winning 17 consecutive titles. The Monarchs will not have a chance at this season’s Virginia 529 College Savings Plan Colonial Athletic Association Championship.
The University of Delaware pulled out the biggest and most stunning upset of the 2011 CAA tournament, knocking off the perennial powerhouse 72-55 in the quarterfinals on Friday night.
Behind Elena Delle Donne's 18th career double-double of 31 points and 10 boards, Delaware utilized a balanced scoring effort. Junior guard Vanessa Kabongo also posted double-digits, dropping in 11 points. Danielle Parker (bottom left) kicked in nine points and Sarah Acker posted five points with six rebounds.
Delaware will face #3 UNC Wilmington, which eliminated #6 Drexel 63-51 Friday evening. The game is set for Saturday at 2:30 p.m., following the #1 James Madison vs. #4 Virginia Commonwealth University tilt. Both games will be televised live regionally on The Comcast Network.
Both players went perfect from the free throw line, as Kabongo went six-for-six and Delle Donne(at right) extended her consecutive free throws made to 43, breaking her previous school record of 39. They were joined in perfect free throw shooting by Jaquetta May’s (at middle) three-for-three night and Meghan McLean’s two-for-two effort.
The seventh-seeded Blue Hens, who improve to 19-12 on the season, including 8-0 when surpassing 70 points. The win also snapped a 10 game losing streak to Old Dominion, dating back to the 2004-05 season.
It was also the third straight game Delaware has surpassed 70 points, knocking off Towson University 75-57 in the season final and last night’s 74-66 win over Northeastern University.
“We’ve been working really hard the second half of our season, and for that matter, the entire season,” said Blue Hen head coach Tina Martin, who guided Delaware to its first-ever tournament win over Old Dominion. “We’ve had our struggles, but this feels really good and our kids deserved it.”
Delaware has had success ending Old Dominion streaks, including halting a 122-conference home game winning streak. The Hens snapped the streak with a 73-70 win in Norfolk.
Tonight’s win was just the fourth time Delaware has knocked off the Monarchs, who hold a 17-4 all-time record against the Hens.
Four Monarchs reached double-figures, led by 16 points from Jasmine Parker and 14 points from Kquanise Byrd. Alena Voronina and Tia Lewis chipped in 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Blue Hens faced the Seahawks (23-7) just once this season, falling 66-48 on Jan. 20 in Wilmington, N.C. Delaware was without the services of Delle Donne, who was being treated for Lyme disease.
The 21st meeting between Delaware and ODU was a tight affair early on, as the lead changed hands five times and tied on eight occasions.
But with 4:15 on the clock, May dropped in a jumper to wrest control of the lead for good. She built the lead up to six with a pair of free throws and a jumper before Delle Donne hit trey to give Delaware its biggest lead of the first half at nine.
Early in the second half, Delaware increased its lead to 15 with 14:19 left in the contest with Sarah Acker hitting the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation.
Down but not out, Old Dominion pulled within single digits of lead with JoNiquia Guilford hit a free throw.
Delaware answered with 7-0 run covering less than two minutes to build to a 17-point lead. Kabongo gave Delaware its biggest lead of the night at 72-53 on a set of free throws. Guilford hit the game’s final bucket with 10 seconds left on the clock to finalize the 72-55 Delaware victory.
The Blue Hens were strong at the charity stripe, finishing 25 of their 30 attempts (83.3 percent) while the Monarchs struggled at the line, shooting under 50 percent as a squad. Old Dominion hit just 11 of its 24 free throws (45.8).
Rebounding was a huge factor in Delaware’s victory. For the second straight game, the Hens pulled down over 40 caroms. While the Hens grabbed 41 rebounds, Old Dominion only snared 32.
With its 17 offensive rebounds, Delaware posted 17 second-chance points, but allowed Old Dominion just three on its 16 offensive rebounds. Off the bench, Delaware got 16 points, led by May’s nine. Old Dominion managed just four points from its substitutes, three of which belonged to Guilford.
Delaware made Old Dominion pay for its mistakes, getting 28 points on 18 Monarch turnovers. The Delaware defense was solid, coming up with nine steals, led by Delle Donne and May, who each had three.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives