Roundup: Blue Hen women’s basketball team defeats Loyola 47-45

When the defense is working, teams will always find ways to win games.

The University of Delaware women’s basketball squad did just that Wednesday night as the Blue Hens shot just 40 percent from the field and committed 17 turnovers but had enough grit on defense to pull out a hard-fought 47-45 non-league victory over Loyola at Reitz Arena.

Delaware (6-3) pulled ahead for good with 2:12 left in the final quarter and Nicole Enabosi knocked down three clutch free throws in the final 14 seconds to lead the Blue Hens to the win over the Greyhounds (3-5).

Blue Hen senior guard Erika Brown scored seven of her team-high 15 points in the first quarter and dished our four assists, Sadé Chatman added nine points and a game-high nine rebounds, and Enabosi contributed eight points and seven rebounds to lead the way.

“It’s all about winning and the bottom line is that we did that tonight,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who moved one step closer to the 400-win milestone with her 398th victory with the Blue Hens. “Our offense has been struggling, but our defense has been solid and we found a way to win tonight.”

Delaware held Loyola to just 38.2 percent shooting (21 of 55) from the field and forced 13 turnovers. The Greyhounds, who advanced to the Patriot League championship game a year ago, lost for the third time in the last four games. Guard Bri Betz-White was the only Loyola scorer to reach double figures as she netted eight of her team-high 15 points in the final stanza.

The Blue Hens jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead in the opening quarter and went ahead 14-10 in the opening quarter but Loyola recovered and outscored the Hens 12-5 in the second stanzas to take a 22-19 lead at the break.  The Greyhounds went on a 10-2 run over the first seven minutes of the third stanza to take control but the Hens battled back with a 6-0 run late to take a 31-30 lead.

White scored three straight baskets to open the final stanza and give Loyola a 36-35 lead, but a layup by Brown and a conventional three-point play by Chatman gave Delaware a 40-36 advantage with 5:30 left. Loyola came back to knot the score again at 40-40 with 2:40 left.

Delaware freshman guard Bailey Kargo, who came off the bench for the first time this season, came up big moments later as her floating layup with 2:12 left – her only basket of the game – put the Hens up for good at 42-40.

Brown followed with a jumper less than a minute later, Enabosi hit her clutch free throws, and the Hens came up with some big stops on defensive down the stretch to leave the arena happy.

Boys’ basketball

Worcester Prep, Md. 43, Delmarva Christian 32: Wyatt Kwiatkowski scored 12 points for the Royals as they dropped a game Wednesday night to an out of state opponent.

Girls’ basketball

Worcester Prep, Md. 33, Delmarva Christian 23: Camryn Breasure’s 12 points paced the Royals who fell in the nonconference contest.

College field hockey

More honors for UD’s Nauck and Peet: The NFHCA continues to recognize the National Champion University of Delaware for its outstanding success this season as senior Esmée Peet and sophomore Greta Nauck collected All-America accolades.

Nauck, the NFHCA Mid-Atlantic Player of the Year, earned All-America honors for the first time in her career and was named a First Team selection.

Peet garnered her third All-America award and was a Second Team selection for the second time during her four years as a Blue Hen. She was previously a Second Team honoree in 2014 and received First Team accolades in 2015.

Also the CAA Player of the Year, Nauck finished the year first nationally with 3.04 points per game and 1.32 goals per game on a school record 76 points and 33 goals, including 10 game-winning tallies. In just two seasons for Delaware, the midfielder is seventh in program history with 103 career points on 44 goals and 15 assists.

Peet completed the year with 25 points on nine goals and seven assists while garnering her fourth All-CAA First Team selection.  The midfielder wrapped her career ranked fourth all-time with 120 career points and 48 goals and sixth with 24 assists.

The Blue Hens, who finished the year with a 19-game winning streak and an overall mark of 23-2, won the program’s first-ever National Championship in late November.

The Longstreth/NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year will be announced on Dec. 14.

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