Hot-Shooting Blue Hens Jump Out Fast, Continue Win Streaks with 77-50 Victory Over Northeastern
January 29, 2013
Photos Courtesy of Chris Permar and Chris Mlynarczyk
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NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware women's basketball squad celebrated its return to the national Top 25 rankings Tuesday evening as the hot-shooting Blue Hens jumped out to a 17-2 lead and never looked back in posting a 77-50 Colonial Athletic Association victory over Northeastern at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delaware, which moved up to No. 25 in the Associated Press poll Monday, shot a season-best 56.6 percent from the field (30 of 53), matched a season-high with eight three-pointers, and controlled the boards by a 40-25 margin on the way to its 11th straight victory.
All-American Elena Delle Donne (at right) knocked down 10 of 16 shots from the field and drained four three-pointers on the way to a game-high 26 points while Lauren Carra (below left) added 14 points and six rebounds, Danielle Parker (below right) collected 10 points and six assists, and Kayla Miller dished out a career-high nine assists, the most by a Blue Hen player in nearly a year.
The Blue Hens (16-3, 6-0 CAA) won their 26th straight CAA regular season game over three years and swept the season series from Northeastern, downing the Huskies for the 23rd straight game.
“I thought it was a very good effort and we were definitely focused tonight,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. “That's a good sign for these veterans. We spend a lot of time shooting the basketball so they should be a very confident bunch right now. It's nice to see the ball go in. We had pretty good ball movement. You have to understand, we're going through this stretch. My biggest concern is staying healthy and then obviously making sure we're mentally ready for each and every team we go after. That's where our focus is right now.
Northeastern (11-8, 4-4 CAA), which lost its second straight game, got a team-high 10 points from guard Kashaia Cannon and eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds from forward Jewel Tunstall. The Huskies drained nine three-pointers but shot just 18 of 56 from the field (32.1 percent) for the game.
Delaware connected on 8 of 13 shots from beyond the three-point mark, matching the eight hit against Georgetown in an early season loss. Delle Donne drained four of six attempts from deep while Carra and Cortni Green each connected on both of their attempts.
The Hens’ 56.6 percent shooting was their best team mark from the field since hitting a sizzling 62.3 percent (33 for 53) in a 81-70 win at Princeton on Dec. 1, 2011. Delaware connected on 15 of 28 first half shots Tuesday night on the way to a 37-24 lead at intermission and were even better in the second stanza, hitting on 15 of 25 attempts.
Delle Donne opened the game with a three-pointer just 10 seconds in, followed with a jumper less than a minute later, and added another triple with 15:02 left in the opening half to stake the Hens to a 17-2 lead just five minutes in.
Northeastern recovered with some timely three-point shooting of its own and eventually got the margin down to 10 points at 28-18 with 4:25 left before Delle Donne added another three-pointer and Jacquetta May hit two field goals in the final 2:11 to push the UD lead to 37-24 at the break.
Delaware came out strong in the second half as well, outscoring the Huskies 17-4 over the first five minutes behind nine points from Delle Donne, to push the lead to 54-28 and never looked back. Northeastern never got closer than 20 points the rest of the night.
“I definitely think it was very important to jump out early and get a comfortable lead early,” said Delle Donne, who played just 25 minutes. “We got the chance to sit some people, get some rest, and really get everyone playing time because we have a lot of games coming up and back to back with travel. Things were really clicking offensively tonight. We were able to move the ball around and just get that open shot. After playing against Drexel (a 65-56 win Sunday) where it feels like you can't really get anything open, it really felt like the court was wide open tonight.
“It means everything to me to see Kayla (Miller) playing this well,” said Delle Donne of her former high school teammate. “This is such an incredible year for her. It makes me smile because Kayla works so hard and she's so selfless and she deserves this. We were trying to get her 10 assists and I missed the open shot on the baseline. I was so mad because we really wanted to get her 10. She'll get it, we have time. She's incredible.”
The Hens will continue a grueling streak of four games in eight days Thursday when they travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia State at 7 p.m. They return Sunday to host Hofstra at 2 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.
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