Blue Hen Winning Streak Snapped as #9/8 Maryland Pulls Away Late for 69-53 Victory
December 20, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
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NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware found itself within one possession of the lead midway through the second half of it non-league women's basketball clash with No. 9 ranked University of Maryland Thursday night.
But in a flash, the opportunity for the biggest upset in school history was gone as the Terrapins knocked down two straight three-pointers, outscored the Hens 15-2 over a span of six minutes, and pulled away for a 69-53 victory before the largest crowd (5,089) ever to see a women's basketball game at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delaware (5-3), which welcomed the return of All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right), had a four-game win streak snapped, falling for the first time since a Nov. 14 setback at Duquesne. The Blue Hens received votes in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Maryland (8-2), a perennial national power and a 2012 NCAA Elite Eight participant, won its fourth straight game to improve to 8-2. The Terrapins have now downed the Hens in all 11 meetings, including an 85-76 victory last season when they handed Delaware its only regular season loss as part of a record-breaking 31-2 campaign that resulted in a second round NCAA Tournament appearance.
Delle Donne, who has battled the effects of Lyme Disease all season, saw action for the first time since Nov. 20 and finished the night with a team-high 19 points to go with six rebounds in 34 minutes of action. She was able to connect on just 7 of 23 shots from the field but finished with 11 second half points.
Lauren Carra (at left) contributed 16 points and six rebounds for the Blue Hens and Danielle Parker chipped in with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Carra, who has hit double figures in scoring every game this season, reached the 1,000-point milestone on a free throw in the first half, becoming just 23rd player in UD history to reach the mark.
“I thought today's game was about two teams that are in very different places right now,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. “We have an opportunity to get a lot better and I think that we will as time progresses. We made it a game. It was a great crowd, a great atmosphere for college basketball. We cut it down to three and then Maryland does what Maryland does -- they're a very good basketball team, they're the number one rebounding team in the country, and we just could not keep them off of the boards. Fighting and getting back into the game was a big step, but as I told the team, there are 22 more games for us to play, to get back to where we would like to be, which is our homecourt come March for the NCAA Tournament. There are a lot of things we need to work on. I tip my hat to Maryland, they're a top-10 team.”
Maryland put three players in doubles figures and had two record double-doubles as Tianna Hawkins poured in 16 points and pulled 16 rebounds, Alyssa Thomas had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Katie Rutan came off the bench to knock down 13 points, including three three-pointers. Hawkins scored 10 points in the second half, including the first eight of the stanza as the Terrapins built a 12-point lead in the first two minutes.
Maryland took advantage of a 44-35 advantage on the boards and held Delaware to just 32.8 percent shooting from the field (20 of 61). The Terrapins hit on 15 of 31 first half points on the way to a 35-28 lead at the break. They also finished with seven three-pointers and were perfect on all 10 attempts from the foul line.
The first half featured seven ties, the last one at 26-26 when Carra finished off a 6-0 run with a layup with 5:31. But the Terrapins answered by scoring nine straight points and cruised into halftime with a 35-28 lead.
Maryland continued that momentum in the second half as Hawkins scored the Terrapins first eight points of the second half, six directly off offensive rebounds, to push the lead to 43-31. The Terrapins built the lead to 14 points at 48-34 on a Rutan three-pointer with 14:46 left before the Hens slowly crept back into the game.
Delle Donne took control for the Blue Hens, starting and finishing a 10-2 run with three-pointers. When she drained a deep ball with 8:05 left to play, the Hens had cut the Maryland lead to 52-49.
But Rutan answered with a three-pointer of her own less than a minute later for Maryland, and after Delle Donne knocked down a jumper to pull to within four, Chloe Pavlech hit another triple to start a decisive 12-0 run that put the game away. Delaware, which misfired on its final eight shots from the field, did not score over a span of nearly six minutes before Kayla Miller hit a free throw with 1:11 left.
Delaware, which was playing for the first time in 11 days, will get right back on the court as the Hens travel to Monmouth for a non-league road encounter Saturday at 3 p.m.
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