Lady Hens defeat Drexel for second-straight year, CAA Champions again
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 17, 2013 18:03
After leading for the first 38:48 of the Women’s CAA Championship final, the first-seed Delaware women’s basketball team surrendered a corner 3-point conversion from Drexel forward Taylor Wootton to give the Dragons a late 56-55 advantage Sunday at The Show Place Arena.
On the next possession, Delaware senior guard Trumae Lucas drew a controversial blocking foul on Drexel forward Abby Redick on the left low block. With the conference championship on the line, Lucas swished both free-throw attempts to permanently return the lead to Delaware.
At the post game press conference, Lucas said the magnitude of the moment did not faze her.
“I stepped up to the line and I was confident that I was going to knock them down and my teammates were 100 percent behind me,” Lucas said. “So, no I didn’t think about the fact that I needed to put us back in the lead. I just shot them like they were regular free throws.”
On the next Drexel possession, Redick was called for traveling while attempting to pass the ball to wide-open teammate Rachel Pearson for an uncontested 3-point attempt. The Dragons put Delle Donne and watched her convert two free-throw attempts with 9.9 seconds on the clock to push the Hens lead to 59-56.
Drexel had one final opportunity to tie the game, but Lucas knocked the ball out of Dragons’ guard Hollie Mershon’s hands. Delle Donne picked up the loose ball and tossed it down court as time expired.
After the game, Delle Donne said that Drexel’s high ball screens and ability to shoot the basketball caused issues for the Hens on defense.
“You have to guard all the shooters,” Delle Donne said. “You don’t have great helps-side, so Hollie, who can take it to the basket is definitely hard to defend because we’re not in help-side like usual where I can just sit in the paint a little bit and rely on my teammates to play their great defense.”
Drexel benefited from four different players that were able to hit 3-point attempts, including Wootton, who converted on four of her five long-range opportunities. Delaware out rebounded the Dragons 30-27, as senior guard Lauren Carra pulled in 10 boards of her own.
With Sunday’s victory, Delaware receives an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament and will likely play their first two games at home in the Bob Carpenter Sports Center. Martin said although she is proud of her team and their ability to go undefeated in the CAA for two straight seasons, it will not be long before she begins to focus on Delaware’s postseason opportunities.
“I am going to enjoy this for a good today, and the selection show,” Martin said. “As soon as that name shows up and flashes who we’re playing, then the smile will be off my face.”