Delle Donne Lifts Delaware Past WVU In NCAA Tournament

Score: No. 6 Delaware 66, No. 11 West Virginia 53

Star(s): West Virginia: Ayana Dunning 15 Pts, 10 Reb. Delaware: Elena Delle Donne 33 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Blks.

Story: The West Virginia women’s basketball team had its opportunity to advance to the second-round and potentially face third-seeded North Carolina on Sunday afternoon. That was, until Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne took the floor. Delle Donne, the second-highest leading scorer in the nation at over 25.0 points per game, made her mark early against the Mountaineers. Following a 33-26 halftime deficit, Delle Donne and the Blue Hens took control in the second half — outscoring West Virginia 40-20 in the final 20 minutes of action.

Playing on their home court in front of a sellout crowd for the opening round game, the sixth-seeded Blue Hens gave the 11th-seeded Mountaineers all they can handle in the second half. Despite shooting only 16.7 percent from behind the arc, Delaware was able to pace itself at the charity stripe — shooting 86.4 percent and having 16 more attempts than West Virginia. With the victory, Delaware improved to 31-3 overall and now has a school-record 26-straight victories.

Delle Donne, a 6-foot-5 senior, scored 17 of her 33 points after halftime. Both teams struggled mightily in the early moments of the second half. The Mountaineers missed their first six shots, and the Blue Hens went just 1-for-7 from the field. West Virginia had a turnover-filled second half — almost doubling its total in the second half with 11 compared to a mere six in the first. With the loss, WVU fell to 17-14 overall to finish the season.

BR

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Amit Batra is a senior print journalism major at West Virginia University. Currently, he is the Sports Editor for the student-run newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum, to further his sports writing career. Previously, Amit has covered collegiate and professional sports for WVU and numerous websites. Twitter: @Batra01