UPPER MARLBORO, Md. –A day after surviving a major scare with a
hard-fought eight-point win over No. 9 seed UNCW in the Colonial
Athletic Association Tournament quarterfinals, the top-seeded and
defending champion Blue Hens left little question of the outcome as they
cruised to a 75-54 victory over No. 5 seed Hofstra in the CAA semifinals
at The Show Place Arena Saturday afternoon.
"Yesterday's game was a case of the jitters," said Delaware head coach
Tina Martin following Saturday's game. "My team played like my team
today and I'm very proud of them. We shared the ball, we defended
really well, we rebounded extremely well, and we showed why we are who
we are right now, which is the No. 1 seed."
The No. 15 Blue Hens (29-3), who extended their school-record win streak
to 24 games and posted their 41st straight CAA win over two seasons, now
advance to the CAA title game for the third straight season.
Delaware will take on No. 3 seed Drexel in the CAA Tournament
Championship Game Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Drexel defeated No. 3 James
Madison 50-34 in the other semifinal game Saturday.
The Hens and Dragons will meet in the title game for the second straight
season. Delaware posted a 59-43 win in last year's title game and has
now downed Drexel six straight times since 2010-11.
The game will be televised live on the Comcast SportsNet Regional
Network throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
"We have one more game to go," commented Martin. "We are very focused
on that. All I care is that there is a Delaware uniform on that floor
and we have an opportunity to get ourselves a ring. That's what these
kids have been focused on all year."
All-American senior Elena Delle Donne led UD with 21 points and 13
rebounds for her second straight game with a double double and the 46th
of her illustrious career. During the game, she became the 13th player
in NCAA women's basketball history to score 2,900 points in a career
"Our focus today was just to have fun on the floor together," stated
Delle Donne. "The season is wrapping up and we want to enjoy these
moments. We need to enjoy it while it lasts and have fun. We always
play better when we're having fun."
Senior forward Danielle Parker added 10 points with a 5-for-9 shooting
effort from the field while senior guard Trumae Lucas chipped in 13
points and three assists off the bench.
"Like Elena said, this is the last time around for the majority of our
starters as we have seven seniors," Parker added. "Yesterday we just
had to get it out of our system. We came out slow and our shots weren't
falling. Today, just coming out strong and closing the door early was
something we wanted to do."
Senior guard Kayla Miller collected nine points, four assists and four
rebounds for the Hens and senior Lauren Carra, an All-CAA second team
honoree, put up eight points with four assists and four rebounds.
"The scoring balance today was huge," Martin remarked. "Everybody on my
team is special and they all play really hard. For us to share the ball
and do what we needed to do was huge."
Senior forward Deven Green paced the Pride (14-17) with a team-high 16
points to go along with five rebounds. Sophomore guard Andreana Thomas
added seven points and a game-high seven assists for Hofstra.
Delaware jumped out to a 14-3 lead to open the game and led by 11 to
start the second half. The Hens began the second on a 14-4 run and
increased their lead to 21 with 15:29 remaining in the contest. UD held
at least a 16-point advantage for the rest of the game and would
increase this lead to 25 with just over two minutes remaining in the
game before sealing the 21-point victory.
The Blue Hens set a new school CAA Tournament record as they registered
just seven turnovers, besting their previous low of eight, which was set
against Old Dominion on March 9, 2012. UD did not commit a turnover in
the opening period against Hofstra Saturday. Additionally, Delaware
made a CAA Tournament best 31 field goals, overtaking their previous
best of 30, also set against ODU on March 9, 2012.
#5 HOFSTRA (14-17)
Bond, 3-8 0-0 6, Evans, 1-7 5-6 7, Onyeuku, 1-3 0-1 2, Thomas 2-7 2-2 7,
Payton, 1-7 0-0 3, Jackson, 3-10 0-0 8, Epps, 1-4 0-0 3, Sherrill, 0-0
0-0 0, Carter, 1-4 0-0 2, Green, 7-8 2-2 16, Thomas-Palmer, 0-1 0-0 0;
Totals, 20-59 9-11 54
#1 DELAWARE (29-3)
Delle Donne, 10-19 1-1 21, Parker, 5-9 0-0 10, Miller, 4-7 0-0 9,
Richards, 3-7 0-0 6, Carra, 2-10 3-4 8, Green, 0-1 0-0 0, May, 1-2 0-2
2, Buchanan, 2-6 2-4 6, Bell, 0-2 0-0 0, Lucas, 4-11 5-5 13, Clark, 0-0
0-0 0, Leon, 0-0 0-0 0, Craig, 0-0 0-0 0; Totals, 31-74 11-16 75
Halftime score: Delaware 38, Hofstra 27; Three-Point Field Goals: H –
5-17 (Jackson 2-5, Epps 1-2, Thomas 1-3, Payton 1-5, Bond 0-2), D – 2-12
(Miller 1-3, Carra 1-4, Green 0-1, Delle Donne 0-2, Lucas 0-2);
Rebounds: H – 33 (Evans 6), D – 50 (Delle Donne 13); Assists: H – 15
(Thomas 7), D – 15 (Miller/Carra 4); Total Fouls: H – 14, D – 13;