16th-Ranked Blue Hens Roll To Fifth Consecutive Victory With 65-46 Triumph at Towson
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
TOWSON, Md. – The 16th-ranked University of Delaware women's basketball team jumped out to another big halftime lead and cruised from there as the Blue Hens won their fifth straight game with a 65-46 triumph over Towson Thursday night at the Towson Center.
Junior All-American Elena Delle Donne scored 15 points for the Blue as she grabbed a game-high eight rebounds to go with three steals, two assists and two blocks in an all-around effort. The nation's leading scorer at 29.3 points per game, Delle Donne had a streak of 19 straight 20-point games snapped dating back to last season as she played through a calf injury.
Fellow junior Lauren Carra also scored a team-leading 15 points for Delaware, matching her season-high also set against Saint Bonaventure. Sophomore Akeema Richards was the third Blue Hen in double figures as she scored a season-best 11 points to reach double digits for the third time this year.
Tanisha McTiller scored in double figures for the fifth straight game with 13 points to lead Towson, while Deree Fooks scored 10 points to go with a team high-tying six rebounds.
Delaware, sweeping Towson for the second straight year, improved to 15-1 on the season and a perfect 6-0 in Colonial Athletic Association action as the Blue Hens handed the Tigers their first home loss of the season. Towson fell to 11-6 on the season and 2-4 in conference play as the Tigers saw their first blemish to a 7-0 record at the Towson Center.
“We shared the ball and our defense set the tone," said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. "I knew this had to be all about defense and rebounding. We got some really good looks, and the defense led everything from there. Elena is wrestling with an injury, which really showed the strength of the team tonight. It’s nice to see our team step up because I know they are capable of doing that. They proved it tonight. It’s a win-win all the way around.”
Richards scored the first points of the game on a jumper to start off a 7-2 opening run for the Hens highlighted by Carra’s first three-ball of the night for yet another quick start for Delaware.
The Blue Hens led the Tigers 12-6 at the 15:05 mark, improving to 164-71 over this season’s opponents at the first media timeout.
Delaware extended its lead to 15-6 over the Tigers with an 8-2 run that saw Carra knock down another three-pointer as Richards hit two jumpers up to the 14:47 mark.
Unable to come up with an answer for the hot-shooting Hens, Towson ventured into a 6:06 scoring drought as Delaware went on an 8-0 run with just over 10 minutes left in the half for a 23-8 lead.
Fields hit a layup at 7:59 to end Delaware’s run as the Tigers attempted to battle back with an 8-3 run of their own, reducing their deficit to 10 points, but that would be the closest they would get going into halftime.
Delaware remained hot on an 11-2 run to close out the first half, including nine unanswered points for the Hens that featured back-to-back baskets from Parker followed by five straight free throws by Delle Donne to lead Towson 39-18.
Delle Donne, who scored all seven of her first half points from the charity stripe, struggled to find her shot, going 0-3 from the field in the first 20 minutes. However, the 6-5 forward led Delaware’s defensive unit in the first half with two blocks and two steals as the Hens held the Tigers to just 26.7 percent from the field.
Towson scored back-to-back baskets from McTiller to start off the second half, as the Tigers continued on a 12-8 run, highlighted by six straight points from Nyree Williams to make it a 47-30 game with 14:21 left to play.
Delle Donne scored the next six points for the Hens before McTiller hit Towson’s only three-point shot of the night to make it a 53-25 game.
Delaware led by at least 16 points through the entire second half, going up by as much as 23 at 62-39 with 4:06 remaining following a Carra three-pointer.
Ranked 11th in the nation with a +10.3 rebounding margin, the Blue Hens won the rebounding battle once again, taking a 40-31 advantage over Towson. Delaware shot 41.4 percent (24 of 48) from the field and a season-low 65 percent from the line (13 of 20). The Tigers shot 36.4 percent (20 of 55) and 55.6 percent (5 of 9) from the charity stripe.
Delaware looks to remain perfect in CAA play as the Hens end a two-game road series when they face Drexel at home on Sunday, Jan. 22 for a 3:30 p.m. tipoff at the Bob Carpenter Center.
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