Roundup: Hens rally to oust Elon in CAA women’s quarterfinals

Delaware’s season was fading fast on Thursday afternoon.

After having already lost to Elon twice during the regular season, the Blue Hens trailed the Phoenix by as many as 11 points.

But the Blue Hens decided that they weren’t ready for their season to end just yet.

Fifth-seeded Delaware stormed back in the fourth quarter to down No. 4 Elon, 57-50, in the Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon at The Show Place Arena.

Delaware (16-14) meets top-seeded James Madison (25-5) in today’s first semifinal at 1:30 p.m. Elon awaits a potential WNIT bid with an 18-12 record.

“This team has been giving me gray hairs all year and today was no different,” said Delaware coach Tina Martin. “They also have been fighters all year. This group showed its resiliency, showed its fight today, and we’re going to need that in buckets going against two-time defending champion JMU.”

Against the Phoenix, Delaware scored on 13 of its 15 possessions in the fourth quarter, beating Elon for the first time ever in five games. The Blue Hens also dominated at the free-throw line, sinking 14-of-14 in the fourth quarter and 18-of-20 for the game.

Freshman Nicole Enabosi led Delaware with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting before fouling out with 1:12 remaining. The forward added nine boards.

Senior All-CAA second-team selection Courtni Green had 13 for the Hens, and Sade Chatman had 11 points, going 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

“It was very, very, very nerve-wracking,” Enabosi said when asked about playing in her first conference tournament, noting she relaxed when she saw her friends and family in attendance.

The teams were tied at 47-47 with 1:57 remaining when Green drove to the basket and laid it in with time running down on the shot clock. Chatman extended Delaware’s first lead to 51-47 and the Hens never trailed again.

Delaware trailed by as many as 12 and ended the third quarter down 11, but finally was able to pull even at 43-43 behind Chatman’s free throws with 4:51 left in the game.

“They were fighting and getting loose balls we weren’t getting,” said Elon’s Shay Burnett. “They were outhustling us.”

Elon went up 23-11 and after the Hens responded with a 6-0 spurt, they went without a field goal for the final 7:43 of the second quarter. Elon led 29-18 at the break.

Delaware trailed 38-29, unable to find any offensive rhythm against Elon’s size and defense. Elon shot 24 percent in the second half, while Delaware improved to 57 percent.

The Hens outscored Elon 28-12 in the fourth quarter.

Looking ahead to the semifinals, JMU and Delaware have dominated the CAA championship the last six years with the Dukes winning the last two and in 2010 and 2011. Delaware won the league championship in 2012 and 2013.

The Dukes lead the series 19-13 and have won three straight and nine of the last 11.

College softball

Wesley splits two: The Wesley College softball team split a pair of tough games in The Spring Games down in Clermont, Fla. on Wednesday night, falling 3-1 to Meredith before rebounding with an 11-3 victory over Penn State-Brandywine.

In game one, Lindsay Siok (Milford) tossed a quality six innings but was outdueled by Meredith’s Lauren Mabrey. The Wolverines were held to just one run on five hits. Siok allowed three earned runs on seven hits.

Samantha Burns (Polytech) had two hits and a stolen base while Breanna Hartman scored the Wolverines’ only run.

In game two, eight different Wolverines combined to register 14 hits. Burns and Morgan Seymour (Smyrna) each went 3-for-3 and Megan DiRubbio (Polytech) recorded her first career college hit.

Hartman went 2-for-4 with four RBI while Marcano went 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Sydney Botsch (Smyrna) twirled a five-inning complete game to get her first collegiate win. The freshman allowed three runs on four hits and struck out eight, the most in a single game by a Wesley pitcher this season.

High school basketball

Woodbridge’s Anderson honored: Woodbridge High senior Altia Anderson has been named the Gatorade Delaware Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Anderson is the first Woodbridge player to win the award.

The 6-foot-2 forward led the Blue Raiders to a 15-8 record and the second round of the DIAA state tournament this past season. She averaged 19.3 points, 14.2 rebounds, 5.7 blocks and 3.8 assists per game.

She is a two-time All-State honoree and has been named first-team All-Henlopen Conference each of the past three years.

Anderson has maintained an ‘A’ average in the classroom. Also a track and field hockey standout in addition to serving as treasurer of her school’s Key Club, she has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball programs.

“Anderson is a great all-around player,” said Delmar coach Billie Fox. “She has amazing skill, her effort is unbelievable and she displays great sportsmanship at all times. She’s fun to watch, even when you’re playing against her.”

Anderson has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Marquette University this fall.

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