DOVER, Del. - Coming
off a season-long three-game road swing, the Delaware State women's
basketball team (3-7, 0-1 MEAC) returns to Memorial Hall
for the first time since Dec. 7 to take on the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (8-2) Sunday afternoon (2 p.m.), looking to end a four-game losing skid.
» St. Francis Terriers (8-2, 0-0 NEC)
The Lady Terriers enter Sunday afternoon's contest on a four-game winning streak, while their two losses on the season occurred against St. John's and Miami.
As a team, St. Francis Brooklyn is holding its opponents to 58 points per game, including 37 percent shooting from the floor and 27 percent from beyond the arc.
On the offensive end, the Lady Terriers have three players averaging double figures in the scoring column, led by guard Eilidh Simpson (13.4 ppg). In addition to leading the squad in scoring, Simpson is shooting 51 percent (20-of-39) from three-point range and was recently named Co-NEC Player of the Week. Forward Jaymee Veney, meanwhile, is averaging 12.2 points per game and leading the squad in rebounding (6.7 rpg), whereas forward Sarah Benedetti is totaling 11.7 points per contest off the bench.
» The Head Coach: John Thurston is in his second season with the St. Francis Brooklyn women's basketball program. Last season, Thurston led the Lady Terriers to an 11-19 overall record, including an 8-10 output in conference play.
» The Series: DSU is 3-2 all-time against the Terriers. The last meeting between these two programs occurred last season with the Lady Hornets falling on the road, 69-50.
A Win Would Mean…
» The Lady Hornets would snap their longest losing streak of the season.
» DSU's home record would be 3-1.
» The Hornets' first win over St. Francis Brooklyn since Dec. 22, 2010 with DSU pulling out a 62-42 win on the road.
» Delaware State would be 4-7 for the first since the 2002-03 season.
Last Time Out…
The Lady Hornets fell 62-47 to Marshall to complete their three-game road trip.
Returning after missing the previous two games due to a shoulder injury was leading scorer (21.5 ppg) and rebounder (9.9 rpg) Tierra Hawkins, who finished the game with 11 points (4-of-14) and a team-high 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.
DSU's Raven Bankston, on the other hand, led the team in scoring with 21 points, despite a tough 8-for-24 (.333), including a 2-for-9 (.333) performance from beyond the arc. She also committed a game-high seven turnovers and pulled down five rebounds.
At game's end, the Lady Hornets shot its second lowest field goal percentage of the season at 28 percent (17-of-60). In addition to forcing 22 DSU turnovers, the Thundering Herd scored 20 points off those miscues. Delaware State did, however, win the battle boards at 42-37.
Both Ends Slipping
In the first seven games of the season, the Lady Hornets scored at least 65 points and averaged 77 points per contest on 42 percent shooting. Also during this stretch, Delaware State forced 23 turnovers per game, including 11 steals, and averaged 23 points off those miscues.
However, the Lady Hornets have seen both their offensive and defensive production decline of late.
In the last three games, DSU has been held under 50 points and averaged 46 points per game on shooting 28 percent from the field, including 20 percent from three-point range. Additionally, opponents are forcing 22 turnovers per game, including 11 steals, while DSU is giving up 88 points on 49 percent shooting from the floor.
Home Cookin' on the Menu
DSU's contest against St. Francis will begin a stretch of playing four out of its next five games at home.
After traveling to Howard on Jan. 2, the Lady Hornets will have a three-game homestand with matchups against NJIT (Jan. 7), Hampton (Jan. 11) and Norfolk State (Jan. 13).
In three home games this season, Delaware State is 2-1 and averaging 84 points per game on 40 percent shooting, while forcing 26 turnovers and 12 steals per contest on the defensive end.
Moving Up the All-Time Career List
Despite DSU's recent loss to Marshall, two players moved up on DSU's all-time career list in two categories.
With her 11 points, junior Tierra Hawkins is now 10th all-time on DSU's scoring list with 1,142 career points.
Senior Deanna Harmon, meanwhile, now sits in a two-way tie with Alfreda Jefferson (1994-96) for fifth all-time in career assists (229).
At this Point Last Season…
The Lady Hornets were 2-8 overall and 1-1 MEAC action, coming off a 69-61 loss at Towson.
Coming Up Next…
DSU will head to Washington, D.C. to face MEAC foe Howard on Jan. 2 (5 p.m.).