The first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship is officially complete and the No. 6 seeded University of Delaware advanced Sunday afternoon to host No. 3 University of North Carolina at 7 p.m. Tuesday at a sold-out Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens (31-3) defeated No. 11 seeded West Virginia (17-14) Sunday by a tune of 66-53 while UNC (29-6) put up a narrow 59-54 win over No.
14 seeded Albany (27-4).
Both teams are ranked nationally, with the Tar Heels in the 13th spot in the AP Top 25while UD is 15th in the poll.
Delaware head coach Tina Martin and her coaching staff took little to no time to enjoy Sunday’s victory as they immediately went into preparation mode for the Tar Heels.
“We are really focused on this next game,” Martin remarked Monday at the team’s press conference. “After the game yesterday, we had a coaches’
meeting and watched a lot of tape on North Carolina. Hopefully, we will put our best foot forward and play good basketball tomorrow.”
The Blue Hens, who won their second straight Colonial Athletic Association Championship last weekend, are making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and second to theround of 32. Last season, Delaware picked up its first NCAA Tournament victory in school history with a 73-42 win over the University of Arkansas – Little Rock.
With a win Tuesday over North Carolina, UD would travel to Bridgeport, Conn. for a Sweet 16 contest Saturday, the furthest a team has advanced in the NCAA Tournament in school history.
“To reach the Sweet 16 would be huge for our program and our seven seniors,” stated Lauren Carra. “We made a goal as a team to reach to the Sweet 16 and get past the second round. Right now, we are just looking to take it one game at a time and just focus on our game tomorrow.”
The Hens are led by three-time CAA Player of the Year and two-time All-American Elena Delle Donne, who has put up 25.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this season. The forward contributed a game-high 33 points for Delaware against WVU yesterday. Delle Donne is currently 27 points away from becoming just the ninth player in NCAA Women’s Basketball history to reach the 3,000-career point mark.
Carra is second on the team with 10.9 points while fellow senior Danielle Parker adds 8.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
UNC is looking for its 16th trip to the regional semifinals in program history. The Tar Heels lost in the ACC Championship game, 92-73, to Duke. They are led on-court by senior guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, who averages 15.8 points and 4.4 assists per game. Senior Waltiea Rolle and freshman Xylina McDaniel also put up double digits with 11.7 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Senior Krista Gross leads the team with an average of 8.5 rebounds per contest.
“North Carolina is definitely quick and strong,” commented Delle Donne.
“They have some great players. We have to rebound the ball as they crash the boards. We also have to take care of the basketball because they like to pressure the ball and go for steals.”
“It’s all about preparation and we have done that so far,” Parker said.
“We are going to go over some things like taking care of the ball, but it’s all about preparation at this point for us.”
he second time is even sweeter.
It wasn’t an easy victory by any stretch, but the University of Delaware
women’s basketball squad got what it came for Sunday afternoon as the
No. 15 ranked Blue Hens claimed their second straight Colonial Athletic
Association Tournament title with a hard-fought 59-56 victory over
Drexel at The Show Place Arena.
The top-seeded Blue Hens (30-3) completed their second straight perfect
season through the CAA as they extended their school-record season win
streak to 25 straight games, upped their overall win streak to 42
straight over conference opponents, and clinched their second straight
All-American Elena Delle Donne, who scored 21 points each in the Hens’
quarterfinal and semifinal wins earlier in the week, captured her second
straight CAA Tournament Most Valuable Player Award as she scored 28
points and pulled five rebounds to lead the Blue Hens. Trumae Lucas was
just as important as she came off the bench to add 12 points and earn
her spot on the All-Tournament team. Lauren Carra pulled down a
team-high 10 points and dished out six assists while Kayla Miller handed
out five assists herself.
“When the buzzer sounded, I was the happiest person in the United States
of America,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who has now led her
teams to three conference tournament titles and four NCAA Tournament
appearances. “We’ve worked so hard for this and it’s incredibly hard to
go undefeated two years back to back. I’m so thankful to be a champion
Just as they had done two weeks ago in a 62-57 win over Drexel, Delaware
had to work hard for the victory as the Blue Hens needed two free throws
each from Delle Donne and Lucas in the final 44 seconds to clinch the
win. The Hens managed just one field goal over the final seven minutes
of action as Drexel (22-10) rallied back from a 17-point second half
deficit by using a 24-7 run to take the lead at 56-55 with 1:07 left.
But Lucas hit her two free throws with 44 seconds left to give the Hens
the lead for good and Delle Donne knocked down the deciding shots with
just nine seconds left. Drexel failed to score in its final two
possessions as Abby Redick was called for traveling with 19 seconds left
and Hollie Mershon turned the ball over in the final seconds, setting
off a wild celebration on the court that included many of the partisan
Blue Hen crowd.
“I stepped up to the line and was confident that I was going to knock
them down,”said Lucas of her clutch free throws. “My teammates were 100
percent behind me. I didn’t think about the fact that I needed to put us
back in the lead, I went up there and shot them like normal free throws.”
Drexel, which fell to Delaware in the title game for the second straight
year, got 21 points from Taylor Wootton, including 12 points from
three-point range, and 18 from Mershon in the loss. Mershon also dished
out nine assists and drained three pointers. The Dragons, who fell to
Delaware for the seventh straight time, knocked down 10 three-pointers
in 25 attempts during the game, including seven in the second half as
part of their comeback.
The Blue Hens now head to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight
year and will host first and second round games at the Bob Carpenter
Center on March 24-26. The 64-team NCAA Tournament field will be
announced on Monday night, March 18, at 7 p.m.
Drexel scored the game’s first basket but the Hens reeled off 13 of the
next 15 to take a 13-5 lead and led the rest of the way. Drexel used a
late seven-point run, with six coming from Mershon, to cut the lead to
28-27, but the Hens went into intermission up 30-27 when Miller
rebounded a missed three-pointer by Lucas and hit a layup right before
The Blue Hens used that momentum in a big way in the second half as they
came flying out of the gates, scoring the first 11 points of the frame,
including five from Delle Donne, and held Drexel scoreless for the first
4:22 to take their biggest up to that point at 41-27.
Delaware later upped the lead to 17 points at 46-29 on a Delle Donne
drive and still led 48-32 after two Delle Donne free throws with 12:50
But the Dragons caught fire from there as they reeled off 13 straight
points, including two three-pointers by Wootton, to narrow the deficit
to 48-45. Delle Donne snapped a string of over seven minutes without a
field goal for Delaware with a bank shot with 7:19 left but Merson
answered with a three-pointer to pull Drexel to within 50-48.
Delaware’s Akeema Richards hustled to make a steal at midcourt and
converted it into a three-point play with 6:17 remaining to extend the
Delaware lead to 53-48, but Drexel again answered the call as Mershon
hit a three-pointer and Wootton followed with a jumper to tie the score
at 53-53 with 1:52 left. After Delle Donne knocked down two free throws
to give Delaware the lead back, Drexel gained its first advantage since
2-0 when Wooton buried a three-pointer for a 56-55 Drexel advantage with
Delaware then grabbed the lead for good as Lucas calmly drained two free
throws with 44 seconds left and the Hens got the ball back when Redick
got caught in a crowd in the lane and traveled while looking to pass.
Delle Donne then iced the win with her two free throws at the
Drexel had one last chance to tie but Mershon turned the ball over with
four seconds left with Lucas picking up the steal.
The University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team is raising awareness of the fight against cancer for the third straight year. Fans are invited to purchase the team’s cancer awareness promotional t-shirt for the Cancer Awareness Game on Saturday, April 6 vs. Michigan at 12 noon at Delaware Stadium.
The t-shirts are on sale now for $20 each with a portion of the proceeds from each t-shirt sold to be donated to the American Cancer Society.
"Being a fifth-year senior on the team, I have been around for my fair share of Delaware lacrosse, and unfortunately our team has been affected by this horrible disease,” said senior attackman Eric Smith, who is organizing the cause. “This game represents all the loved one who we have lost as well as the people in our lives who have battled back from this disease to beat it. The goal of this game is to give people an idea of just how prevalent this disease is, while raising money to help find a cure. We hope that we can get some support and sell some t-shirts in honor of those affected by cancer."
All shirts ordered will be available for pickup at the men’s lacrosse game on April 6. Completed order forms should be faxed to Athletics Marketing at 302-831-7206 or dropped off on gameday in advance to the Delaware Stadium Ticket Office.
All order forms must be received no later than Friday, March 22 at 5 p.m. in order to guarantee your order. To order, go online to:
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
James Madison guard Devon Moore hit two free throws with
3.7 seconds remaining as the third-seeded Dukes pulled out a controversial 58-57 victory over second-seeded University of Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals Sunday afternoon at the Richmond Coliseum.
The Blue Hens led by a point in the final minute and appeared to have the upper hand when Carl Baptiste blocked a shot by the Dukes’ Andre Nation and Delaware grabbed the defensive rebound. Following a Dukes foul and a timeout with 13.3 seconds left, Jarvis Threatt received an inbounds pass but was ruled to have dribbled the ball on the sidelines down the left side of the floor.
Moore then drove the lane and was fouled by Jamelle Hagins and followed with two free throws to put James Madison in front by a point. Delaware had one last chance, but Devon Saddler’s off-balance three-pointer outside the top of the key was off the mark, giving the Dukes the victory.
James Madison, which improved to 19-14 on the season, advances to Monday’s championship game against top-seeded Northeastern. The Blue Hens, who were looking to advance to their first ever CAA final, had a five-game winning streak snapped while falling ot 19-14 on the year.
Hagins, who broke the school record by appearing in his 124th career game, led Delaware with 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks as he recorded his 16th double-double of the season. Kyle Anderson added 11 points for the Blue Hens, while Carl Baptiste chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds. Saddler, the CAA’s leading scorer, was limited to just seven points, as his 38-game double figure scoring streak came to an end.
A.J. Davis led James Madison with 16 points, as the Dukes defeated Delaware for the third time this season. Moore added 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists for James Madison, while Nation was the third Dukes player in double figures with 12 points to go with a game-high five blocks.
“I am really proud of my guys, we hung in there and fought all night,” said seventh-year Blue Hen head coach Monté Ross. “I’m so appreciative of what my team gave me tonight. We wanted to get a good look for Devon at the end, but the ball just didn’t go in. Playing in the postseason would be an honor; I will get my team whole in the next few days and we’ll go from there.”
James Madison led 29-25 at the break and the Dukes then opened the second with six straight points, culminated on an alley oop dunk by Davis, to go in front by double digits at 35-25 with 17:21 to play.
Saddler scored his first field goal of the day and the Blue Hens’ first of the second half with 16:16 left, while a layup by Baptiste and a dunk by Hagins made it a four-point game at the 14:54 mark.
James Madison went back up seven on a Ron Curry three-pointer, but Threatt followed his own miss before Hagins scored off the glass to bring Delaware within 40-37 with 12 minutes to play. The Dukes lead alternated between three and five points over the next four minutes, until Threatt scored off a rebound and then drained a three-pointer to put UD up 47-46 with 8:18 to play.
JMU called a time out but could not stop the Blue Hens’ momentum, as Threatt and Hagins each converted layups to give Delaware a five-point advantage. However the Dukes would pull even after two free throws by Nation and a three-point play by Davis, knotting the contest at 51-51 with 5:07 remaining.
Delaware answered right back as Baptiste converted a layup, Saddler scored in transition and Baptiste scored inside to put the Blue Hens up six at the 2:56 mark. But Nation answered with a triple for the Dukes, and after Davis hit two free throws, JMU got the ball back in the final minute following a miss by Threatt.
Baptiste then blocked Nation’s shot, before the Threatt turnover and Moore’s game-winning free throws.
Delaware shot just 35.7 percent from the field, connecting on 20 of 56 field goal attempts and 3 of 17 three-point shots, but finished 14 of 17 from the foul line and held a commanding 45-27 rebounding advantage.
However the Blue Hens limited the Dukes to only 37.7 percent from the floor, including a 4 of 14 performance from behind the arc.
For the second straight day both the Blue Hens and their opponent struggled early from the field, before a Davis three-pointer put the Dukes up 9-6 at the 14:39 mark of the opening half. Delaware answered back with six consecutive points to go in front, and the game remained tight throughout the rest of the half.
A three-pointer by Curry gave James Madison a 22-18 cushion, before Josh Brinkley hit a turnaround jumper and Anderson buried a three-pointer from the top of the key as the Blue Hens went back in front by a point with 2:46 on the clock. However Moore answered with a pair of baskets for the Dukes, and after a Hagins bucket, Curry hit two free throws in the final seconds as James Madison took a 29-25 lead into the half.
Delaware went just 7 of 26 from the field in the opening 20 minutes but James Madison was not much better, connecting on just 10 of 27 field goal attempts.
Baptiste, 3-5 3-4 9, Hagins, 5-7 2-2 12, Threatt, 4-13 0-0 9, Saddler,
3-14 1-2 7, Anderson, 2-10 5-5 11, Rogers, 0-0 0-0 0, Savage, 0-3 0-0 0, Brinkley, 3-4 3-4 9, Totals, 20-56 14-17 57.
James Madison (19-14)
Goins, 2-7 0-0 4, Davis, 5-8 5-6 16, Diouf, 0-3 0-0 0, Nation, 4-13 3-6 12, Moore, 5-10 4-6 14, Hood, 0-0 0-0 0, Curry, 2-7 2-2 8, Cooke, 1-3
0-0 2, Bessick, 1-2 0-0 2, Totals, 20-53 14-20 58.
Halftime: James Madison 29, Delaware 25. Three-Point Field Goals: UD –
3-17 (Anderson, 2-8, Threatt, 1-4, Savage, 0-2, Saddler, 0-3); JMU –
4-14 (Curry, 2-5, Davis, 1-4, Nation, 1-4, Goins, 0-2); Rebounds: UD –
45 (Hagins, 12); JMU – 27 (Moore, 7); Assists: UD - 8 (Hagins, 4); JMU -
8 (Moore, 6); Fouls: UD - 12, JMU -15. Attendance: 4065.