Delle Donne, teammates dominate ODU, 86-62
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 21:02
In the final CAA matchup between Delaware and Old Dominion, the Hens made sure to leave a lasting impression on the Lady Monarchs, who will be moving to Conference USA in July.
Defeating them 86-62, The win marked Delaware’s 31st-straight overall, 16th-straight in the CAA and sixth-straight at home. Delaware, who is ranked 20th in the nation, improved to 21-3 (12-0) while Old Dominion fell to 16-9 (7-6). The 86-point effort marks a season high for the Hens, who also had a season-high 24 assists.
Held scoreless for the first 4:05 of the game, the Hens offense found a spark when junior guard Akeema Richards came onto the court. Richards finished the game with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds.
“I think we were playing games with them, or I like to think that,” senior forward Danielle Parker said of the Hens’ slow start. “Our shots weren’t falling and we weren’t getting to the boards like we usually do, and that kind of stopped us in the beginning but we finally picked up momentum and crashed the glass.”
Parker, who had 13 points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists in the game, said coach emphasized the need to play better defense in the second half. She had nine of her 13 points in the second half, helping the Hens pull away and secure the victory.
Senior All-American forward Elena Delle Donne led Delaware with 26 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals. Delle Donne, who became the CAA all-time leading scorer last week, set two more CAA records in Thursday’s game when she became the leader in career field goals with 913 and in free throws with 688.
After Thursday, Delle Donne is eligible to enter the NCAA’s national rankings after having played in 75 percent of games this season. She currently ranks second in the nation with 24.7 points per game, behind Jerica Coley from Florida International University.
But Delle Donne wasn’t the only player to score in double figures on Thursday night, as Richards, Parker and senior guard Lauren Carra, who had 15 points, a team-high eight rebounds, two assists and one steal, did it as well.
With just under 13 minutes left in the first half Carra hit a 3-pointer to give Delaware the lead, which they held for the rest of the game. Carra shot 3-6 from beyond the arc and said she felt the whole team contributed to the win.
“I definitely think there is a different type of energy when everyone gets involved,” Carra said. “Everyone is scoring and it makes us that much harder to stop.”
The Hens held the Lady Monarchs to a shooting percentage of 37, while Delaware shot 53 percent from the field. Head coach Tina Martin said the team came out a little slow in the first half but began to play better, especially in the second half, when they outscored Old Dominion 14-0 in the paint.
“I thought today we had a little bit of a lull in the first half, and I was a little fired up because we just weren’t as efficient on the offensive end,” Martin said. “Defensively, not great in the first half, much better in the second half.”
Two Lady Monarch’s players, forward Shakeva Richards and guard Galaisha Goodhope, fouled out during the contest, as Delaware also saw a strong performance from their bench and outscored Old Dominion’s bench 18-8.
“That shows team effort,” Parker said. “Everybody doing their part because we are all scorers and we all have that mentality. We all can get to the basket and make good plays.”
The Hens faced off against the William & Mary on Sunday at Kaplan Arena. Delaware won the game 66-44 behind another strong effort from Delle Donne, who had 24 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Richards contributed 13 points and five rebounds, as Delaware improved to 22-3 (13-0) and extended their conference-winning streak to 32.
They play at George Mason tonight at 7 p.m. and end the week with a home game against James Madison.