Delle Donne Explodes for 35 Points as the No. 25 Blue Hens Defeat Rival Hofstra 79-63 in Physical Battle
February 3, 2013
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
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NEWARK, Del. -- All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right) scored 21 of her game-high 35 points in the first half to spot the University of Delaware a 13-point halftime lead and the Blue Hens rolled on from there for a 79-63 victory over rival Hofstra in a physical Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball encounter before a sellout Bob Carpenter Center crowd Sunday afternoon.
Delle Donne, a national Player of the Year candidate, hit 10 of 20 shots from the field, knocked down four three-pointers, and converted all 11 of her free throws attempts for her 35 points to lead the No. 25 ranked Blue Hens (18-3, 9-0 CAA) to their 12th straight win this season and their 28th consecutive CAA regular season triumph over a span of three seasons.
Delle Donne, who entered the game averaging 24.6 points per contest, has now surpassed the 30-point mark in a game 32 times during her illustrious career at UD. She also pulled down nine rebounds and blocked four shots Sunday against the Pride.
The game was played in front of a spirited crowd of 5,005, the second largest crowd to fill the 5,000-seat BCC this season. The fans saw Delaware extend its record to 48-10 all-time against Hofstra, including a dominating mark of 28-1 in games played in Newark.
Senior forward Danielle Parker (at left) added a season-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds for Delaware. She played in her school-record 129th game at Delaware, breaking the mark of 128 set by former teammate Jocelyn Bailey last season, and also moved to within 12 points of the 1,000-point plateau. Lauren Carra netted 11 points to go with eight rebounds and Kayla Miller contributed seven points and four assists to pace the Blue Hens.
"I thought the kids really found a way to grind it out and did what they needed to do to get the win today," said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. "I'm proud of them from that standpoint. I thought the crowd was great today. It was a lot of fun. We knew that Hofstra was going to play physical. They like to run it down your throat and get to the rim. And then everybody crashes. That's pretty much always how Hofstra's been. That style of play is very effective for them. We contained them when we needed to."
Hofstra All-CAA forward Shante Evans, who entered the game averaging a team-best 17.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, led the Pride (9-10, 5-3 CAA) with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds while Anma Onyeuku and Annie Payton each paced the team with 15 points apiece.
The Pride did outrebound the Hens 42-36 but did not help itself by committing 20 turnovers and 21 fouls.
"It was very physical out there," said Parker. "But we expected it and we were prepared. Shante Evans is a very physical player and she always has been. We went into the second half with the momentum that we needed."
The longtime rivals battled it out hard in the first 10 minutes of the opening half as the score was tied five times and neither team led by more than four points. Delle Donne knocked down a three-pointer with 9:41 left to give Delaware a seven-point cushion at 25-18, but Hofstra fought back again and got to within four points on a jumper by Andreana Thomas with 6:43 remaining.
But Delaware got hot as the Blue Hens outscored the Pride 15-6 the rest of the stanza and took a 46-33 lead into halftime when a Delle Donne three-pointer from 25 feet out beat the buzzer.
The Hens road the momentum the rest of the way as they quickly built a 22-point lead over the first six minutes of the second half to go up 58-36 and then led by at least 13 points the remainder of the afternoon.
Delaware will hit the road for two CAA away games this week as the Hens travel to Towson Thursday night at 7 p.m. and James Madison Sunday at 2 p.m.
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