Eighth-Ranked Blue Hens Complete Undefeated CAA Regular Season, Set School Single Season Wins Mark With 79-53 Triumph at William & Mary
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The eighth-ranked University of Delaware women's basketball team completed an undefeated Colonial Athletic Association season with a 79-53 defeat of William & Mary Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena.
The Blue Hens (27-1, 18-0) set the school record for wins in a season, and tied the school mark with their 17th consecutive victory also set in the 2000-01 and 2004-05 seasons.
Four Blue Hens reached double-figures on the day, including junior All-American Elena Delle Donne who again led Delaware en route to her 13th double-double of the season with 26 points and 11 rebounds, in addition to breaking her own school mark for most points in a season.
Danielle Parker and Lauren Carra each added 14 points for the Blue Hens, while Akeema Richards contributed 11. Senior Jocelyn Bailey, who pulled down six boards on the day to go with two points, also broke a school record for games played as she made her 123rd career appearance tonight.
Sophomore Kelsey Buchanan dished out a career-high and team-high four assists for Delaware to go with two points and one rebound.
Delle Donne, who has accumulated 791 points so far this season, surpassed her own record of 774 points set during her freshman year campaign. The 6-5 forward now holds three of the top four single-season points totals in her three-year career as a Blue Hen.
The Hens are the first conference team to go undefeated in league play since Old Dominion went 18-0 a decade ago during the 2001-02 season. Delaware has now won a school-record 19 straight CAA games since last season.
“I’m really proud of my team,” said 16-year Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who notched her 150th CAA victory. “It felt as though we made history tonight going 18-0. For 10 years it didn’t happen, which means that this is a good league. I wouldn’t have predicted this before the season, but I’m proud of this team for stepping up and getting the job done. Our team understands the CAA Tournament is coming up so we will take a few days off, recharge our batteries, and get ready for the tournament.”
The Hens, which began the CAA portion of their schedule with a 73-57 win over the Tribe at home back in December, earned their seventh straight victory over William & Mary dating back to 2008-09.
Leading the way for the Tribe was Janine Aldridge with 15 points, and Taysha Pye, who fired off 23 shot attempts, seven of which went through the rim for a total of 14 points. Katherine DeHenzel dished out a game-high eight helpers for the Tribe, which fell to 10-19 on the season and 3-15 in conference action.
Delaware took the first possession of the game but could not capitalize just yet. A Correal layup found the basket first for the Tribe but was quickly answered with a Parker jumper to tie it up at 2-2.
Aldridge hit a three-pointer on the next William & Mary possession, helping the Tribe to secure a lead for the next seven minutes of the first half.
The Delaware bench seized the Blue Hen lead for the remainder of the game as Buchanan hit a jumper off a helper from Bailey with 11:27 to go. A Delle Donne three-pointer was echoed by old-fashioned three-point play by Richards to put the Blue Hens up 18-13 going into the 10:08 media timeout
Back-to-back three pointers by Carra sent the Hens on a 10-0 run up to the 5:06 mark, giving Delaware a more extensive 30-17 lead.
Delaware, which shot 51.6 percent (33 of 64) from the floor on the day, took a 39-26 halftime lead over the Tribe. William & Mary was held under 40 percent in each half, shooting an overall 35.6 percentage (21 of 59) from the field.
The Tribe got things rolling almost immediately in the second half with a three-pointer by Aldridge, but the Hens took off on a 12-4 run, highlighted by back-to-back three pointers from Carra over the next two minutes to hold on to their double-digit lead.
Delaware led by as much as 28 in the second half and finished with a 26 point lead, marking the 22nd time this season and the 15th CAA game of the season that the Hens notched a double-digit win.
One of just four teams nationally with one or less loss this season, Delaware completed the best regular season in the history of the program, which includes the most wins (27), the best start (10-0), best CAA record (18-0), and first ever national ranking.
“It’s huge and it’s something we definitely wanted to accomplish,” said Delle Donne, who leads the nation in scoring with 28.3 points per game. “Coach says it a lot, ‘Anyone can start something, but champions finish it.’”
Delaware, which secured the top seed in the CAA Tournament after defeating Drexel on Feb. 19, heads to the CAA Tournament to face the winner of the Towson vs. Old Dominion game on Friday, March 9 at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. for a noon tipoff.
Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archives