Roundup: Pollard leads Hornet women to season’s first win

Delaware State’s NaJai Pollard has already proven she’s one of the top players in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Now the sophomore forward is showing teams in other leagues just how dominant she can be.

Pollard led all players with 27 points and 13 rebounds to propel the Hornets to their first win of the season, 61-49, over Wagner in women’s basketball on Sunday afternoon.

The reigning MEAC Rookie of the Year and Preseason All-MEAC first-team selection was 13-for-17 from the field and three-of-five at the free throw line. She also had a career-best five blocks for DelState (1-3).

Pollard scored a career-high 38 points vs. Lehigh in DSU’s previous outing on Nov. 16. In the last two games, Pollard has scored 65 points on 26-for-33 shooting from the floor (78.8 percent) and pulled down 25 rebounds.

Sunday’s numbers raised Pollard’s season averages to 24.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. She is shooting 61.9 percent from the field (39-for-63) this season.

Freshman Gennell Addison came off the bench to score six points and grab 11 rebounds, each a season-high, for the Hornets.

MEN, Austin Peay 76, Delaware 75: Austin Peay’s Josh Robinson drove the length of the court for a layup with 1.9 seconds left as the Governors edged the Blue Hens on the final day of the Tarkett Sports Classic.

Delaware (3-3) trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half and was still down nine with four and a half minutes to play. But Blue Hen senior Devonne Pinkard buried three consecutive three-pointers to pull UD even at 69-69 with 2:24 left.

Pinkard knocked down another three to give Delaware a 74-71 advantage with 50 seconds to play.

Robinson then hit a three-pointer to tie the game again, before Eric Carter was fouled on a layup attempt and hit one of two from the foul line with 9.7 on the clock. Delaware then called timeout, but Robinson raced down the court and scored the game-winning bucket.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t get this one but I’m very proud of our group for battling back and giving ourselves a chance at the end,” UD coach Martin Ingelsby said.

Pinkard finished with a career-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half to fuel the comeback, and knocked down seven three-pointers. Chivarsky Corbett recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Daly added 11 points and six boards.

Lebanon Valley 58, Wesley 53: The Wolverines battled back from a 19-point halftime deficit before falling in the title game of the Rinso Marquette Tournament.

Evan Anderson (19 points), J.W. Lawson (17) and Brian Cameron (10) all scored in double figures for Wesley (1-2), which trailed 29-10 at halftime. The Wolverines’ only lead came in the opening minute.

College volleyball

James Madison 3, Delaware 0: The Blue Hens’ dramatic Colonial Athletic Association Tournament run came to an end with the 25-18, 26-24, 25-20 loss to top-seeded James Madison in the championship match.

The sixth-seeded Hens (16-16) advanced to the tournament final with wins over Northeastern and Charleston after an impressive run down the stretch to earn a CAA tourney berth. JMU (21-10) won its 10th consecutive match to advance to the NCAA Tournament with its first conference title since 2000.

UD senior outside hitter Autumn Jenkins posted her 19th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs while Maria Bellinger added 10 kills. Alexa Swann contributed nine kills, Erin Layne handed out 36 assists, and Taylor Hollingsworth tied Jenkins for the team lead with 11 digs.

Delaware won 10 of its last 13 matches after the school released veteran coach Bonnie Kenney and operations director Brian Toron took over as interim head coach.

“The glass slipper has fallen,” said Toron. “It has been an incredible two months. This team worked so hard, and it is a testament to them being able to play in a championship.”

“I’m so proud of this season,” Swann said. “Everyone poured their hearts into this year, so this loss is truly heartbreaking. This was an incredible season, and we overcame so much adversity. I wouldn’t have wanted to go on this ride with anyone else.

“I’ll be able to look back on this season and remember that by sticking together, having a pure love for the game, and having an amazing support system, a team can do unimaginable things.”

Delaware, making its seventh appearance in the CAA championship match, fell to 4-3 in conference tournament finals.

High school football

State semifinals set: The DIAA has established the schedules for next weekend’s football state semifinals.

In Division I, top-seeded Middletown hosts No. 4 Salesianum on Friday at 7:30 p.m. while No. 2 Smyrna will host third-seeded William Penn on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

In Division II, No. 1 Woodbridge will host seventh-seeded Caravel on Friday at 7:30 p.m. before third-seeded St. Georges hosts No. 5 Wilmington Friends on Saturday 11 a.m.

Tickets for all games are $6 and will be available at the participating schools during the week.

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