Delaware Defense Does It Again as Hens Claim Blue Sky Classic with 60-45 Win Over Duquesne
December 30, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Boxscore (HTML) / PDF
HANOVER, N.H. – The University of Delaware defense was the key once again Sunday night as the Blue Hens shut down Duquesne and cruised to a 60-45 women's basketball victory to claim the championship at the Blue Sky Classic at Dartmouth University's Leede Arena.
All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right) scored 16 of her game-high 23 points after halftime and pulled down 13 rebounds as Delaware (8-3) won its third straight game and avenged a loss to Duquesne back in November. Delle Donne added four blocked shots and an assist for the Blue Hens and was named the Tournament MVP for her efforts.
Duquesne (11-2), which defeated then No. 24 ranked West Virginia last week, had a 10-game win streak snapped.
Delaware held the Dukes to just 12 first half point on the way to a 22-12 halftime lead and Duquesne converted just 17 of 61 shots from the field (27.9 percent) and went just 4 of 21 from beyond the three-point arc.
In defeating Villanova 59-45 in the first round of the tournament Saturday night, Delaware held the Wildcats to just 11 second half points and 3 of 30 shooting from the field in the second stanza.
“When we communicate on the floor defensively, we’re a very hard team to score against,” remarked Delaware head coach Tina Martin. “Tonight we definitely gave them a lot of problems as most of their kids couldn’t even get a shot off. I thought our defense was outstanding as we communicated like we needed to. We have to understand that our bread and butter is our defense. The offense will come out of our defense.”
Danielle Parker added 12 points and five rebounds for the Blue Hens while Jaquetta May enjoyed her second straight big effort off the bench with nine points and nine rebounds.
In the opening period of the game, the two teams battled back and forth in a low-scoring affair. With less than 10 minutes remaining until halftime, the Blue Hens went on an 8-0 run, holding the Dukes scoreless for over seven minutes.
Delaware took a 10-point halftime advantage at 22-12 as the Hens executed a perfectly drawn-up inbounds play coming out of a timeout with 1.9 seconds remaining. Kayla Miller found May on the left-side box, who then banked in a layup as time expired.
The Blue Hen defense sparkled in the second half as UD went on an 11-0 run and took a 21-point lead at 37-16 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game.
The Dukes would bring things back within 10 with three straight three-pointers with 10:32 on the clock, but Delaware quickly responded with a 17 consecutive points over the next five minutes to go up by a game-high 27 at 56-29.
“The coaches have really been harping on us in practices lately about our defense and how important defense is to winning games,” commented Miller. “Defense is what sparks our offense, so we need to get those steals, make stops and box out to get defensive rebounds. That’s what’s really going to help us out offensively.”
Duquesne attempted a late run in the waning minutes and brought the game within 14, but it was too little too late for the Dukes as Delaware’s Trumae Lucas sank a free throw with 30 seconds remaining to seal the 60-45 victory for the Blue Hens.
Delaware avenged a 51-47 loss to Duquesne back on Nov. 15 in the consolation game of the Pre-Season WNIT Tournament when they played without Delle Donne, who was ailing due to Lyme Disease symptoms.
In addition to Delle Donne, Parker was also named to the Blue Sky Classic All-Tournament team as she averaged 12 points and seven rebounds in two games.
April Robinson led Duquesne with 12 points while Jocelyn Floyd added seven points and seven rebounds.
Dartmouth’s Nicola Zimmer and Villanova’s Laura Sweeney joined Delle Donne, Parker and Duquesne’s Floyd and Wumi Agunbiade on the All-Tournament team.
The title is the second for the Blue Hens as the previously captured the Blue Sky Classic trophy during the 2002 season when they defeated Dartmouth by a score of 61-48.
Delaware has little down time as they next travel to New York to take on the BIG EAST’s St. John’s on Tuesday, Jan. 2 in a nationally broadcast affair on ESPN3.com. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Carnesecca Arena.
Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives