Lady Hens roll GSU, 86-58
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 18:03
“All I said to them was after Tuesday’s practice was, ‘Shut the door,’” head coach Tina Martin said after the Delaware women’s basketball team played their final regular season game.
That is exactly what the Hens did on senior night, defeating George State 86-58.
Seven seniors played their final regular season game in their career at the Bob Carpenter Sports Center on Wednesday night in front of 5,092 fans, the third largest crowd ever at the Bob.
The seniors were honored in an emotional pregame ceremony just before the win solidified the second undefeated conference season in a row for the team.
“It’s just been such a grind,” Martin said. “I hope, and I think, that our fans really appreciate this. It is so hard to go undefeated back-to-back seasons.”
During the final regular season game, the Lady Hens received contributions from all of the seniors but were led by All-American forward Elena Delle Donne who had 24 points, five rebounds and three assists in just 17 minutes.
Forward Danielle Parker recorded her 1,000th career rebound just 15 seconds into the game. Parker, who finished the game with 12 rebounds, five points and one block, is the third player in Delaware history with over 1,000 grabs and is currently 52 rebounds behind Colleen McNamara, who recorded 1,063 rebounds between 1991-1995.
Senior guard Lauren Carra added 15 points and went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Senior Point guard Trumae Lucas added nine rebounds, five points, nine assists and three steals to the winning effort, while senior Guard Jaquetta May, who sang the National Anthem before the game, finished the game with seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block. Senior Guard Kayla Miller added three points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal and senior forward Chelsea Craig started her first career game and scored her first points of the season, causing the Delaware bench and fans to explode in a frenzy of noise.
“We all went crazy like it was a game winning shot,” Delle Donne said of Craig’s basket.
Delaware also saw several younger players step up during the game. Freshman guards Courtni Green, Alecia Bell and Jade Clark combined for 17 points, six rebounds and one steal, as junior guard Akeema Richards scored eight points off the bench and added two rebounds.
As a team, the Hens hit 12 3-pointers, beating the previous single-game record set in 2009-2010 during a lost game against the University of Buffalo, by one. The victory also marked the 22nd straight win for the Hens, another school record, and the 37th straight regular season CAA victory for Delaware.
“The door is officially shut on the regular season of the CAA and we are officially regular season champions,” Martin said.
Martin said finishing the season strong feels good and she thinks the team came in with a great mentality.
“Although there were tears on the bench, I thought they were pretty much focused,” Martin said.
Delle Donne, who has set 21 school records while at Delaware, has also set several CAA records this season. She became the CAA all-time leader in points scored, field goals made, free throws made, free throws attempted and shots blocked this season. She is also the second leading scorer per game in the NCAA, averaging 25.6 points per game.
This season, Parker and Carra joined Delle Donne on the list of 1,000-point career scorers and Parker became just the second player in Delaware women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points and record 1,000 rebounds.
Parker has also played in 138 games during her career, a new record for Delaware and the fifth most nationally.
“The only thing I did pregame was play Vice President Biden’s message,” Martin said. “I said, ‘I think we’re all ready to go.’ Didn’t need to be another word said.”
The team is now preparing for CAA play this weekend against either George Mason or University of North Carolina Wilmington in Upper Marlboro, Md.