WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Junior forward Elena Delle Donne paced No. 12 Delaware with 29 points and 14 rebounds as the Blue Hens turned back upset-minded UNCW, 62-53, in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action Thursday at Trask Coliseum.
Delaware continued its torrid run through its schedule, improving to 19-1 on the year and 10-0 in the CAA. UNCW had its five game winning streak snapped and fell to 13-7 overall, 6-4 in league play.
Delle Donne, the nation's leading scorer at 28.4 points per game, went 11-of-22 from the floor while playing all 40 minutes for the Blue Hens. Junior forward Danielle Parker was the only other Delaware player in double figures with 12 markers.
Junior forward Karneshia Garrett and sophomore guard Abria Trice led UNCW with 10 points apiece. Garrett added 11 rebounds for her fourth double double of the season.
Delaware only led 27-26 at the half, but began the second stanza with an 8-2 run, boosting their lead to seven points, 35-28, when sophomore guard Akeema Richards made a layup at the 16:22 mark.
The Seahawks narrowed the gap to four points on four occasions later in the frame, including off a layup from junior forward Chelsea McGowen with 2:20 remaining.
But the Blue Hens responded to McGowen's bucket with a 6-0 run, boosting their lead to its largest point, 61-51, off two free throws by Delle Donne with 32 seconds left to seal the victory.
In the first half, despite seven early points from Delle Donne, UNCW's defense forced five turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the contest, allowing the Seahawks to cling to a 14-13 advantage with 9:56 remaining in the stanza.
UNCW then put together a quick 6-0 rally capped by a layup from McGowen off a nifty over-the-shoulder pass from sophomore guard Alisha Andrews to give the Seahawks the 20-13 lead at the 7:18 mark.
Delaware responded with a 10-0 spurt completed by a Delle Donne trey with 3:57 remaining in the half, giving the Blue Hens the 23-20 lead. Delle Donne notched seven points in the run.
A three-pointer by junior guard Brittany Gamby broke UNCW out of its slump at the 3:37 mark to tie the game, 23-all. Both teams then combined for just three baskets down the stretch, with a layup by Blue Hen Parker with 19 seconds sending Delaware to the locker room up 27-26.
UD wound up shooting 41 percent, including 46.7 percent in the second half, but relied heavily on Delle Donne's presence. Her teammates managed only 36 percent from the floor on 14-of-39 shooting.
The Seahawks and Blue Hens both return to action on their respective home courts Sunday for 2 p.m. matinees. UNCW challenges William & Mary, while Delaware returns home to entertain VCU.
loss moved UNCW to 0-24 all-time against ranked opponents. The Seahawks are 0-3
this season versus ranked competition with road losses at No. 9 Duke and at No.
18 Delaware earlier in the season.
the win, the Blue Hens boosted their all-time record to 15-7 against the
Seahawks, including a 6-3 advantage on UNCW's home floor.
enjoyed a 45-32 total rebound advantage in the contest. The Blue Hens grabbed 17
offensive boards to convert 18 second chance points.
Blue Hens posted a 38-22 edge in points in the paint, including a 26-14
advantage in the second half.
Seahawk reserves outscored their Blue Hen
counterparts, 29-5, off the bench. All four players who came off the bench for
the Seahawks scored in the contest.
No Delaware player had more than one personal
foul, with seven total fouls being charged to the Blue Hens as a team during
UNCW finished with a season-low three steals,
eclipsing the old mark of seven set on three different occasions.
For the first time in four games, UNCW failed to
shoot better than 40 percent, converting 20-of-58 field goal attempts from the
floor for 34.5 percent.
Delaware's 61.1 percent shooting from the free
throw line was its worst performance from the charity stripe this season,
surpassing the 65 percent effort in a 65-46 win at Towson on Jan. 19.
loss snaps UNCW's five game home winning streak and was only UNCW's second home
defeat of the season as it moved 6-2 this season and 17-4 under Cooper-Dyke at
recorded double-figure assists for the 20th time this season as it finished
with 15 helpers.
2 - Tawanna Lee
Paced team in assists for the seventh time this
4 - Alisha Andrews
Recorded four assists to move into sole
possession of eighth place on the all-time list with 267 career assists. Now needs
six assists to move into a tie with Latonia Beale for seventh place.
Led team in assists for the 14th time this
season and the 38th time in her career.
10 - Abria Trice
Reached double figures in points for the eighth
time this season. Has reached double figures in points for the fourth time in
the last six games.
Led team in scoring for the fifth time this
40 - Karneshia Garrett
Reached double figures in points for the 10th
time this season.
Grabbed double-figure rebounds for the fourth
time this season.
Posted her fourth double-double of the season.
Recorded her first double-double since an 11-point, 13-rebound effort against
Campbell on Dec. 10.
Led team in points for the fourth time this
season and paced squad in rebounds for the 13th time this season.