NEWARK, Del.—Elena Delle Donne scored 36 points to lead hostDelaware to a 59-44 victory over the UMBC women's basketball team in the season opener for both squads Friday evening at theBob Carpenter Center.
Both teams were cold from the floor in the first half, combining to make just four of the first 19 shots. But Delle Donne sparked a 14-2 Blue Hen run with 10 points of her own to put Delaware up 20-6 with 6:44 remaining in the period, and the hosts led, 29-18, at halftime. UMBC connected on just seven of 30 attempts in the opening 20 minutes.
Delle Donne scored her team's first eight points of the second stanza, as the Blue Hens took a game-high 16-point lead, 37-21, at the 16:20 mark.
The Retrievers countered with three straight 3-pointers – two by junior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) and one by junior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) to make it a seven-point game, and UMBC extended the spurt to 14-3, cutting its deficit to just five, 40-35, with 8:54 left.
But a 3-pointer by Delaware guard Lauren Carra curbed the Retriever rally and sparked a 15-4 Blue Hen run over the next seven minutes to retake a 16-point advantage.
Brown led the Retrievers with 12 points, while freshman guard Raven Gerald (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway) tallied 11 with three 3-pointers in her collegiate debut. Senior forward Meghan Colabella (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) led all players with nine rebounds.
Delle Donne's 36 points came on 13-of-29 shooting, including 4-of-8 from long distance, and she was a perfect 6-for-6 at the foul line. She was the only Blue Hen in double digits, as her teammates combined to add just five field goals. Forward Eva Riddick grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, asDelaware outrebounded UMBC, 48-31.
The Retrievers return to action on Sunday, when they visit in-state rival UMES at 3 p.m.