Delaware Impressive in Season Opener as Delle Donne Nets 33 Points to Lead 89-53 Victory over Rhode Island
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- A much-anticipated season for the University of Delaware women's basketball squad got off to an impressive start Friday night as the Blue Hens cruised to an easy 89-53 victory over Rhode Island at the Bob Carpenter Center.
All-American junior Elena Delle Donne (at right) was her usual outstanding self as she dropped in 28 of her game-high 33 points in the opening half to help Delaware jump out to a 31-point advantage at the break.
Delaware (1-0), which earned a vote in the pre-season Associated Press Top 25 poll and was selected as the favorites to capture the Colonial Athletic Association title this season, set a BCC first half record by scoring 51 points before intermission. Rhode Island (0-1) never got closer than 28 points in the second half.
Delle Donne, a 6-5 guard who led the U.S. Under-19 team to a gold medal at the World University Games this summer and was named the CAA pre-season Player of the Year, took over from the outset, scoring 13 points in the first seven minutes of action to give the Hens an early 18-6 lead.
She finished the night hitting on 12 of 17 shots from the field, dropping in three three-pointers, and pulling six rebounds. With the Hens up comfortably in the second half, she sat down for good with 13 minutes left to play and the Hens leading 66-31.
Delle Donne, who averaged 25.3 points per game a year ago despite missing 12 games with injuries and illness, has now scored 30 or more points 17 times in just 52 career games.
Junior guard Trumae Lucas (at left), a first-year transfer from Florida, was also impressive as she scored 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the field.
First-year West Virginia transfer Akeema Lucas added eight points while All-CAA guard Lauren Carra contributed six points and five assists and Kayla Miller returned to action after missing all of last season with a back injury and pulled down five rebounds and dished out a team-high six assists.
"We came out nervous, which is to be expected," said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. "The crowd (3,211) was great, which means a lot to our team. Our players did a great job defensively and we were determining what was happening from the outset. It's good to have a game under our belts and I hope the fans will come out next week (Nov. 17) when we host (12th-ranked) Penn State."
Delaware’s 89 points was the second highest total for the Blue Hens in the 19-year history of the Bob Carpenter Center and the most since a 91-68 win over Morgan State on Dec. 20, 1999. The 36-point winning margin was the No. 2 all-time best by the Hens at the BCC and the biggest since a 38-point 66-28 win over Towson back on Feb. 7, 2002.
Rhode Island, coming off a 7-21 mark a year ago, had a tough opener, shooting just 36.4 percent from the field (20 of 55), committing 18 turnovers, and falling on the short side of a 45-29 rebounding margin.
Ajanae Boone came off the bench to lead the Rams with 16 points, converting 4 of 6 three-pointers, while Sydney Lewis came off the bench to add 10 points a six rebounds. The Ram roster features eight freshmen and sophomores.
Led by Delle Donne’s hot start, the Hens jumped out to leads of 18-6 seven minutes in and 27-10 at the midway point of the opening stanza. She scored the first five points of what was to become a 13-3 run that extended the lead to 40-16. Another 11-2 run gave the Hens a 51-20 lead at the break.
The 51 points was the most ever for a women’s team in a half at the Bob Carpenter Center, breaking the record of 48 accomplished by the Hens three times, most recently vs. Princeton on Dec. 1, 2001.
Rhode Island outscored the Hens 11-8 over the first five minutes of the second half but Delaware followed with a 12-0 run and the Rams could never catch up.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives