Delaware Wins 10th Straight, Reaches 20-Win Mark, as Balanced Blue Hens Pull Away for 68-49 Victory Over VCU
NEWARK, Del. -- The No. 12 ranked University of Delaware women’s basketball squad ran its win streak to 10 games and reached the 20-win mark for the third straight season as the Blue Hens pulled away midway through the second half and cruised to a 68-49 Colonial Athletic Association victory over Virginia Commonwealth Sunday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens won it with balance as four starters reached double-figure scoring. All-American Elena Delle Donne recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds, Danielle Parker (at right) collected a season-high 16 points and six rebounds, Akeema Richards (bottom left) contributed 12 points and six rebounds, and Lauren Carra registered 11 points and six rebounds. Delaware’s fifth starter, Trumae Lucas, dished out a career-high eight assists.
Delaware (20-1, 11-0 CAA) registered its second 10-game win streak of the season and reached the 20-win mark in just 21 games, the fastest to that mark in UD history. The Hens have won 20 or more games in 10 of the last 13 seasons, all under 16th year head coach Tina Martin.
"When we get out and run, we're a very tough basketball team," said Martin. "This team has good character, and when it gets tight they can muster that gumption and make a stand. We came out with a punch today and we needed that.This season has been an incredible run so far. We're just trying to be the best we can be and get to wherever that lands us."
Virginia Commonwealth (13-9, 6-5 CAA), which had defeated Delaware four of the last five meetings, had a two-game win streak snapped. The Rams got 19 points and 12 rebounds from Courtney Hurt while Andrea Barbour contributed 17 points. The rest of the VCU lineup managed just 13 points. Hurt's double-double was the 13th of the season.
The game was played before a near capacity crowd of 4,646 as part of Women's Health Awareness Day. Delaware played for the first time in its pink jerseys, socks, and sneakers and fans were encouraged to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
The contest pitted two of the most prolific scorers in the country as Delle Donne, a national Player of the Year candidate, entered the game leading the nation in scoring at 28.4 points per game while Hurt ranked eighth with 22.4 points per game.
Delaware, which also won its 11 straight home game dating back to last February, enjoyed a solid shooting day as the Blue Hen converted 25 of 49 shots from the field (51 percent) and 17 of 21 (81 percent) from the foul line while holding a 40-29 advantage on the boards.
VCU shot just 32 percent from the field (19 of 59) for the game and shot just 28.1 percent from the field (9 of 32) in the second half. The Rams committed just seven turnovers the entire game.
The Blue Hens jumped out fast, breaking out to a 27-11 lead in the first nine minutes as every starter broke into the scoring column. But the Rams fought back and scored seven of the last nine points of the half to cut the Delaware margin to 37-28 at the break.
Delaware pushed the lead back up to 12 points early in the second half but VCU would not go away. The Rams pulled to within six points twice in the second half, cutting the margin to 46-40 on a Barbour jumper with 12:33 left and to 48-42 on a jumper by Hurt at the 10:00 mark.
But that was as close as VCU would get the rest of the day as the Blue Hens found another gear. Delle Donne (at right) started an 8-0 Delaware run with a jumper at the 8:45 mark as the Blue Hens pushed the lead back to double figures and never looked back.
The Hens, one of just five teams nationally with one or no losses, have won all their homes games this season by at least nine points and all their league home games by at least 11 points.
"The fans really added to the whole atmosphere today, and the pink theme was awesome," said Martin. "It's about awareness and fighting cancer, which is a big deal to us as we have unfortunately had family members affected. The players decided to dye the old uniforms pink last night to help participate in today's events and promote awareness."
Delaware remains home to host Old Dominion this Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m.
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