Blue Hens Keep Rolling, Knock Out #3 UNC Wilmington 62-47; Advance to CAA Finals To Face James Madison
March 12, 2011
Game Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – A second-straight double-double from sophomore All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right), who posted 29 points with 10 boards, the University of Delaware women's basketball advances to its third-ever Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game.
The Hens improved to 20-12 on the season with a stunning 62-47 performance over third-seeded UNC Wilmington.
“It’s good to be back in the finals,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who leads her team to its third CAA Championship game appearance. “We’ve been away for a little bit, but as I told my team, we are where we belong, and that’s the championship game.”
Delaware will take on the top-seeded Dukes of James Madison University, who knocked off #4 Virginia Commonwealth University 67-57 early on Saturday afternoon.
The Hens and the Dukes line up at 1 p.m. in the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., the CAA's new home for the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan Championship.
“I’m proud of my team,” said Martin. “Their effort in this tournament has just been phenomenal. The focus that they have, the togetherness they have, the unity they have, it just feels so good to be a part of this group.”
Ticket prices have been set by the conference at $12 for adults, $7 for youth and senior citizens (62 or over) and a special $5.50 rate for CAA students with valid school ID. Tickets can be purchased The Show Place Arena Ticket Office at 202-397-SEAT (7328) or online at TicketMaster.com. Student tickets can only be purchased at the window.
Coming into the tournament with a 17-12 overall record and a 10-8 mark in the CAA, the Hens become just the second No. 7 seed to advance to the conference's title game. The College of William & Mary played in the championship game at the end of the 1992-93 season.
The win marks the second straight season the Blue Hens have won 20 or more games, after posting a 21-12 mark in 2009-10. It is the ninth time a Tina Martin team has reached the 20-win plateau.
During the game, the Blue Hens tied the tournament's record for team blocks, knocking away 11 Seahawks attempts, including a career-high tying seven from Delle Donne. Delaware tied the mark, set by James Madison on March 11, 2005, who blocked 11 Blue Hen shots in the semifinals.
Delaware reaches the final round for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The Hens entered that tournament, held at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., as the No. 1 seed.
Delle Donne extended her consecutive free throws made streak to 52, going nine-for-nine from the line en route to 29 points. The All-Conference First Team Selection is averaging 26.0 points per game in the tournament, after putting up 18 on Northeastern University in the first round, followed by a double-double over #2 Old Dominion Friday night with 31 points and 10 boards. She went nine-of-20 from the field, knocking down two of her six three-point attempts. Delle Donne also dished out a game-high four assists.
Bailey (at left) reached double-digits for the second time in three games, putting up 11 points on four-of-seven shooting from the field and hitting three of her four field goal attempts. Bailey capped the day with four rebounds and a steal and a helper.
Junior guard Vanessa Kabongo kicked in seven points, including a three-pointer and four free throws on six attempts.
Delle Donne’s seven blocks are the most by a Hen this season, besting Sarah Acker’s six versus La Salle on Nov. 28 and Delle Donne’s own previous season high of six against William & Mary on Feb. 13.
As a team, Delaware went 19-of 46 from the field, including three-for-nine from beyond the arc. The Hens knocked down 21 of their 27 free throw attempts. It was the third-straight game the Hens hit 20 or more free throws.
The league’s Rookie of the Year selection, Alisha Andrews, who tallied 13 points, paced the UNC Wilmington offense. Andrews went four of 17 from the field, hitting two three pointers and all three of her free throws. Martha White, who had 10 points along with eight rebounds, joined her in double figures. She had four rebounds on offense and defense, as well as two blocks and a pair of helpers.
Sophomore Lauren Carra, who tallied two assists and a block against UNCW, has started in all 32 of Delaware’s games this season. If she plays on Sunday, she will tie the University’s record for most games played in a single season. Last season, Bailey, Eva Riddick and Danielle Parker (at right) set the record, seeing time in all 33 of the Hens’ games.
The team’s 11 tied the Hens’ high for the season, set back in December against Alcorn State. Delaware was just one blocked short of tying the program record of 12, set against Lehigh in 1994.
For the third straight game, Delaware pulled down over 40 rebounds. After getting 44 against Northeastern and 41 last night against Old Dominion, the Hens collected another 41, with 13 on offense and 28 on defense. The Hens held the Seahawks to just 35.
Sunday’s championship game will be a battle of the boards; featuring two of the league’s top three rebound teams. James Madison is first with a rebounding margin of +5.7, while Delaware’s average margin is third best at 4.4.
So far in the tournament, Delaware has averaged 69.3 points per game and 42 rebounds a game.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives