UD freshman Elena Delle Donne puts up a record-breaking performance in a loss at James Madison.
Elena Delle Donne produced the most impressive performance of her remarkable freshman season at the University of Delaware Thursday night. The 6-5 freshman star scored a record-breaking 54 points as the Blue Hens fell at James Madison 88-83 in overtime.
Delle Donne’s 54 points is the most any Blue Hen basketball player, male or female, has ever scored in a single game. The previous women’s record was 39, set by Lori Howard in 1981 and tied by Delle Donne earlier this season. The men’s record of 52 points in a game belongs to Liston Houston, set on February 19th, 1910.
Delle Donne’s scoring outburst also set a single game CAA women’s record, besting the previous mark of 51 set by George Mason’s Keri Chaconas in 1995 and broke the arena record at JMU (45 points), previously held by Navy alum and Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson.
Delle Donne’s stat line was eye-popping. She hit 18 of 28 shots, including 7 of 8 three pointers. One of those three pointers came at the end of regulation, sending the game to OT. She also went 11 for 12 at the foul line. She also added 7 rebounds, three assists, 2 blocked shots and a steal.
“Elena’s game was the greatest individual performance that I’ve ever coached,” said head coach Tina Martin. “There are only a few people in the country who can shoot the way she does with two and three people hanging on her. I have an All-American on my team. Her name is Elena Delle Donne, and yes, I’m going to get her the ball. That’s what you do when you have great players.”
Delle Donne’s 54 points is the most scored in a Division I women’s game this season and seventh best all-time. It’s the top individual effort in D-I women’s hoop since Jackie Stiles of Missouri State scored 56 in a game back in 2000.
Delle Donne also set the UD single season record for three pointers last night (55), and is now just 10 away from the single season scoring record of 632 set by Tyresa Smith in 2006-2007.
Despite Delle Donne’s heroics, the Hens drop to 16-9 overall, and 8-6 in the CAA. The team’s six conference losses have come by a total of 14 points, and three were in overtime.
Delaware is tied for fifth in the CAA with Hofstra, a game behind fourth place JMU. The top 4 teams in the league get first round byes in next month’s CAA tournament at James Madison.
Delaware visits 9th place William & Mary Sunday.