No. 20/18 Delaware Uses Balanced Effort To Remain Perfect in CAA Play with 70-54 Victory at Northeastern
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
BOSTON -- Four Blue Hens scored in double figures as No. 20/18 Delaware used a key second half run to pull away from Northeastern and post a 70-54 victory over the Huskies Sunday afternoon at Solomon Court.
Delaware, which won its fourth consecutive game while improving to 14-1 overall and a perfect 5-0 in CAA play, got a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds from junior All-American Elena Delle Donne, who recorded her fifth double-double of the season.
Danielle Parker (at right) also notched a double-double with a season-high 13 points to go with 10 boards, while Lauren Carra contributed 12 points on four three-pointers. Jocelyn Bailey was the fourth Blue Hen in double figures with 10 points on the afternoon.
Deanna Kerkhof recorded team-highs of 14 points and nine rebounds for Northeastern, which dropped to 3-13 overall and 1-4 in the league in its first home game against a ranked opponent of the season. Jamie Conroy and Dani Iervolino also chipped in with nine points apiece for the Huskies, who shot 35.7 percent on the day.
Delle Donne missed most of the first half with a leg injury, but ended up playing 22 minutes while going 6 of 15 from the field, a perfect 9 of 9 from the free throw line, and dishing out a game-high five assists.
Delle Donne, who entered the contest as the nation's leading scorer at 29.8 points per game, has led the Hens in scoring during every game this season and has surpassed the 20-point mark in all 15 contests.
Parker recorded her second double-double in the last three games as the Blue Hens defeated Northeastern for the 20th straight time in the 37th meeting between the teams.
The Blue Hens, who handed out a season-high 19 assists during Thursday's win over UNCW, eclipsed that mark on Sunday by recording assists on 20 of their 25 field goals. Delle Donne dished out five assists while Trumae Lucas and Kayla Miller contributed four helpers apiece.
“We didn’t start off very well without our regular starters and it threw everyone off a little bit," said head coach Tina Martin, who notched her 292nd career win. "In the first half, we didn’t share the ball as well as we have and some people played really tight. Overall, in the second half we got much more comfortable with the flow of the game than we were in the first half. We were very up and down but we came out with a victory.”
Delaware started off slow, shooting just 3-8 from the field and 0-1 from behind the arc in the first five minutes of the game. Northeastern used a 7-2 run to make it 13-8 up to the 13:05 mark before the Blue Hens answered with a 7-2 run of their own to knot the score at 15 on a layup by Jaquetta May at the 10:36 mark.
Both teams remained scoreless until 8:21 when Kerkhof hit her second three-pointer for the Huskies to give Northeastern an 18-15 advantage at the 7:59 media timeout.
The Hens answered with a 7-0 run highlighted by big back-to-back shots from beyond the arc by Carra to put Delaware up 22-18. The Huskies responded with another three–point shot from Kerkhof to tighten the score at 22-21 before again taking the lead at 23-22 on a Conroy jumper with just over five minutes to go in the first half.The next five points came from the Hens before A’lece Mark hit yet another three-ball for the Huskies.
Delle Donne, who made her game debut with five minutes left in the first half, helped boost the Hens to 27-23 with a layup at the 3:06 mark. Mark fought back with a three-pointer for the Huskies before Parker and Bailey battled to add the final four points for the Hens of the first half.
Northeastern continued to rally with a buzzer-beater from Conroy to tighten the halftime score at 31-28 in the Blue Hens’ favor. Delaware shot 42.3 percent from the field in the first half (13 of 20) and 42.9 percent from behind the arc (2 of 7), while Northeastern shot just 35.5 percent from the floor (11 of 31) and a respectable 40 percent (4 of 10) from deep.
Carra started off the second half for the Blue Hens with another three-point shot, but the Huskies kept pace with a three-ball from Mark for a score of 34-21. The Hens continued on a 7-2 run that featured all seven points from Delle Donne, including her first three-point shot of the night, answered by a three-pointer from the Huskies’ Iervolino six minutes into the second half.
Delle Donne, who scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half of the game, added another four points, extending her scoring streak to 11 straight points for the Hens as she started off an explosive 13-0 run that gave the Hens a 16-point advantage at 56-40 to put the game away with 7:24 to go.
Northeastern battled back with a three-point shot from Iervolino to end the Delaware run, but quickly came to a halt with a defensive surge from the Hens that forced an 8:56 drought for the Huskies.
The Huskies would not get closer than 12 points the rest of the way with the Blue Hens taking their largest lead of the afternoon at 69-50 with just over a minute remaining on another two foul shots by Delle Donne.
Overall, Delaware shot 44.6 percent (25 of 56) on the day from the field and 46.2 (6 of 14) percent from behind the arc, while Northeastern shot 35.7 percent (20 of 56) from the field and 33.3 percent (8 of 24) behind the arc.
The Hens, leading the nation with an 83.8 free throw percentage, went 82.4 percent (14 of 17) from the charity stripe, compared to 66.7 percent (6 of 9) for the Huskies, whose only CAA win comes from a 58-54 victory over George Mason in Boston on Jan. 12.
Delaware looks to remain perfect in CAA play as the Hens take on their first rematch of the season at Towson on Thursday, Jan. 19 for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Hens knocked off the Tigers 74-51 at home back on Jan. 5 at the Bob Carpenter Center.