Blue Hens Head into Holidays on a Winning Note; Bounce Back with 82-53 Road Win at Monmouth
December 22, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
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WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – All-American senior Elena Delle Donne (at right) returned to the starting lineup for the second straight game and collected her 30th career 30-point game Saturday afternoon as the University of Delaware women’s basketball team sailed to an 82-53 non-conference victory over Monmouth at the MAC.
Delaware (6-3), which bounced back from a 69-53 setback to No. 9 ranked Maryland Thursday night that snapped a four-game winnning streak, held a halftime advantage of 45-28 and led by as much as 31 in the second half against the non-conference Hawks (2-7), who lost their fourth straight game.
Delle Donne, who has missed all but three Blue Hen games this season with symptoms of Lyme Disease, scored a season-high 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field, including four three-pointers and six free throws.
The forward added a game-high nine rebounds with two blocks and two assists in 24 minutes of action. With the two blocks, Delle Donne has moved into fourth place in CAA history with a career total of 209, bypassing Hofstra’s Jess Fuller (2007-10), who finished her career with 208 blocked shots.
“I felt really good today,” remarked Delle Donne. “It was a great feeling to wake up after the Maryland game and feel refreshed and not exhausted. I think I’m getting healthier and hopefully turning the corner on feeling better.”
Fellow senior Danielle Parker (at left) chipped in 11 points and five rebounds while Lauren Carra added eight points and seven rebounds. Carra moved to 21st in UD history with 1,020 points while Parker is now in 27th place with 883. Kayla Miller dished out a game-high four assists to go along with four points and one steal.
“I really thought that we moved the ball a lot better today,” Miller commented. “We were able to find the open man and get the open pass. We weren’t forcing things and we stuck with the offense. I think that really helped us out.”
The Hawks cut a quick UD seven-point lead to three points before the Blue Hens responded with a 12-1 run, sparked by jumpers from Carra and Akeema Richards to give Delaware a 23-9 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
With 4:44 left before the break, Carra, stuck on the lower left box, kicked the ball out to Richards in the corner, who knocked down a jumper to go up, 34-19.
The Blue Hens recorded another great assist at the 4:07 mark as an airborne Delle Donne at the top of the key found Trumae Lucas for a right-handed bunny shot on a fast-beak layup.
Delaware didn’t hold back in the second half and collected four quick points with a Delle Donne put-back layup and a steal and fast-break layup from Carra to force the Monmouth coaching staff to call a timeout.
The onslaught continued as UD went up by 30 at the 9:41 mark with a jumper from Kelsey Buchanan.
The Hawks responded with six straight points, including four free throws from Sara English. Monmouth kept the pressure on the Blue Hens and pulled out the full court press in the remaining minutes.
Delaware head coach Tina Martin returned her starting lineup to the floor and consecutive treys from Delle Donne put UD up by 31 at 79-48 with just over five minutes left in the game.
The Blue Hens held the Hawks scoreless in the final 3:49 of the game and added three free throws of their own from Alecia Bell. Delle Donne finished the game with three straight three-pointers to up her career total to a Delaware-best 161 in her four years.
Monmouth saw double figure scoring from three players in Betsy Gadziala (14), Chevannah Paalvast (11) and Sara English (10). Gadziala and English each added a team-high six rebounds.
Delaware takes the next few days off for the Christmas holiday before returning Dec. 29 as the Hens take on Villanova at 5 p.m. in the Dartmouth Blue Sky Classic. The Blue Hens will faceoff against Duquesne or Dartmouth in their second game of the tournament.
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