Seahawks Stalled By Blue Hens In Semis
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
UPPER MARLBORO, Maryland - Top-seeded Delaware shot 51.9 percent from the floor and limited fifth-seeded UNCW to just 25.0 percent shooting as the Blue Hens cruised past the Seahawks, 66-39, in the first semifinal of the 2012 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan Colonial Athletic Association Women's Basketball Championship Saturday at Show Place Arena.
Delaware, ranked seventh in the most recent Associated Press national poll, improved to 29-1 on the season and advanced to Sunday's championship game, where it will face the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between No. 2 seed James Madison and No. 3 seed Drexel at 12:30 p.m. UNCW slipped to 20-12 overall and will learn its postseason fate on Monday when the tournament fields for the NCAA and WNIT are announced.
Junior Elena Delle Donne, the CAA Player-of-the-Year, scored a team-high 15 points to lead three Blue Hens in double figures as sophomores Akeema Richards and Kelsey Buchanan pitched in 13 and 10 markers, respectively. Delle Donne and Richards pulled down seven boards apiece as Delaware held a commanding 46-30 edge on the glass.
Delaware trailed only briefly in the contest, falling behind early after a jumper by sophomore Abria Trice and a three-pointer by Lee put UNCW ahead by a 5-3 margin, only to counter with five straight points to build a 9-5 cushion.
A pair of free-throws by senior Theresa Jackson-Henderson halted the Blue Hens spurt momentarily and made it a 9-7 contest, but Delle Donne responded with seven of the next 10 points to spark a 33-6 Delaware run that would last until the halftime buzzer and give Delaware a commanding 42-13 advantage at intermission.
The Seahawks were just 4-of-28 from the field in the first half, missing 24 of its last 26 tries from the floor in the opening frame after converting its first two field goal attempts of the contest. Delaware, meanwhile, knocked down 18 of its 35 field goal attempts in the first half following a slow 2-for-6 start to the contest.
The Blue Hens maintained control of the game in the second half, taking advantage of a 6-2 spurt midway through the frame to build its largest lead of the game, 55-23, with 11:51 on the clock.
A 9-1 Seahawks run followed the Delaware spurt to trim deficit to 56-32, but back-to-back baskets by Jaquetta May and Lucas spoiled the UNCW stretch and sent the Blue Hens to their second straight championship game appearance.
2- Tawanna Lee
4 - Alisha Andrews
40 - Karneshia Garrett