Delaware Cruises To CAA Women's Basketball Championship Game, 66-39
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (March 10, 2012) - Top-seeded Delaware cruised past fifth-seed UNCW, 66-39, in Saturday afternoon's first semifinal of the 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Women's Basketball Championship at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.
Junior forward Elena Delle Donne led three UD (29-1) players in double figures with a game-high 15 points, while also adding seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Akeema Richards finished with 13 points on 6-of-8 field goal shooting and sophomore center Kelsey Buchanan added 11 points on the afternoon. With the win Delaware advances to Sunday's championship game against the winner of second-seeded James Madison and third-seeded Drexel contest at 12:30 p.m.
UNCW (20-12) was led by sophomore guard Tawanna Lee with 13 points and sophomore guard Alisha Andrews scored 11. Sophomore guard Abria Trice, who scored a career-high 33 points in UNCW's quarterfinal win, was limited to just four points by a stingy Delaware defense.
Delaware jumped out to an early lead, going on a 17-3 run in the game's first ten minutes to take a commanding 22-8 advantage. The Blue Hens pushed the lead up to twenty, 32-12, on a Delle Donne jumper with 5:56 remaining until half. The lead grew to 42-12 on a Buchanan two-pointer just before half. The Blue Hens used relentless defense to hold the Seahawks without a field goal for the final 7:53 of the first half, taking a huge 42-13 lead into intermission.
The Blue Hens put it on cruise control in the second half, as the closest the Seahawks trimmed the lead to was 24 points (56-32) on an Andrews three-pointer with 8:07 remaining.
Delaware, whose starters each played 23 minutes or less, shot 51.9% (28-54) from the floor and outscored UNCW in the paint 36-16. The Blue Hens also held a 46-30 rebounding edge and outscored UNCW 21-5 in bench points.The Blue Hens advance to the championship game for the second straight season.
The Seahawks shot just 25% (15-60) from the field and hit only 5-23 from long range. UNCW's 13 first half points in the second lowest in CAA Championship history for a half (12 points, Towson 2007 and VCU 2012).The championship contest will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet North East; The Comcast Network - Philadelphia and Comcast Sports Southeast.