Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 4:44pm
Blue Hens easily advance to CAA Championship Game
Updated Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 6:16pm
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|VIDEO: Highlights and Reaction from Delaware vs. Hofstra|
Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points as Delaware led wire-to-wire with a nearly flawless first half in a 75-54 victory over Hofstra in the CAA Semifinals Saturday afternoon in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Eager to shake off the "jitters" of a surprisingly close game with 5-win UNCW Friday, Delaware raced out of the block, sprinting out to a 14-3 lead on the back of five offensive rebounds in the first 7:24 of the game.
Hofstra (14-17) made a brief run to cut the game to 14-8, but after taking a 22-10 advantage after a Kayla Miller three-pointer, the Pride would never cut the deficit to double-digits the rest of the way.
In the 38-27 first half, Delaware scored 13 points off of 10 Pride turnovers, while the Blue Hens wouldn't even commit their first turnover until 3 minutes into the second half. Seven Hens scored in the opening half, paced by Elena Delle Donne's 11 and Trumae Lucas' seven off the bench.
Delaware (29-3) then cruised their way through the second half, eventually pushing the advantage out to 25 late in the second half, while getting the starters some valuable bench time as they prepare to play three games in three days. Kayla Miller's 30 minutes topped the team while Elena Delle Donne played just 28 to record her 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Lucas, who stepped out of the starting lineup with this year's emergence of Kayla Miller, scored 13 points with 3 assists and 3 steals off the bench, while Danielle Parker added 10 points. Four other Blue Hens had at least six points: Miller (9), Lauren Carra (8), Akeema Richards (6), and Kelsey Buchanan (6).
Defensively, the Blue Hens neutralized Hofstra's top forward Shante Evans to just seven points and six rebounds, while grabbing 21 offensive rebounds and outrebounding the Pride 50-33.
Delaware advances to their 3rd Straight CAA Championship Game on Sunday at 2pm. The Blue Hens will face arch-rival No. 3 Drexel, who defeated No. 2 James Madison 50-34 in Saturday's other semifinal.
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