Delle Donne and Blue Hens earn postseason bid

    The University of Delaware has at least one more game to play in Elena Delle Donne’s first season with the women’s hoop program. The Blue Hens earned an invitation to the Women’s NIT tournament starting later this week.

    The University of Delaware has at least one more game to play in Elena Delle Donne’s first season with the women’s hoop program.  The Blue Hens earned an invitation to the Women’s NIT tournament starting later this week.

    The Hens will host Richmond Thursday night at the Bob.  Tip-off is at 7.

    “We’re obviously very excited to go into postseason play,” said head coach Tina Martin. “This is a great opportunity for our young team to experience the postseason and we’re thrilled that we were awarded a home game. We hope the fans will come out and cheer us on one more time.”

    The Blue Hens will attempt to notch Delaware’s first ever postseason basketball win, men or women.  It’s the UD women’s sixth trip to postseason play, all coming since Martin took over as head coach.  They have yet to win in the postseason.  The Hens lost first round NCAA tournament contests in 2001 and 2007.  They’re also 0-4 in the WNIT, losing opening round games in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006.  The 2005 contest, a 48-42 loss to Saint John’s, was at the Bob, UD’s only other home basketball playoff game to date.

    Delaware is 21-11 this season, the eighth 20 win season in Martin’s 11 year tenure.  The Hens are led by Delle Donne, the CAA player and rookie of the year, who is number two in the nation in scoring, averaging 26.8 points per game.

    Richmond is 19-12, and has a local connection.  The Spiders’ leading scorer is Caravel Academy product, Brittani Shells, who’s putting up 16.8 points per game.

    The winner of the Delaware-Richmond game will advance to round two and a date with the winner of Thursday night’s Syracuse-Harvard opening round match-up.  The host for that second round match-up will be decided later.

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