NEWARK, Delaware – Delaware closed the contest on a 25-6 run to pull away and defeat UNCW, 65-44, in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action Friday at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens improved to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in CAA play while the Seahawks slipped to 1-16 and 0-3 as their losing streak reached 14 games.
Senior Kelsey Buchanan was 7-of-13 from the floor and a nearly perfect 10-of-11 at the free-throw line on her way to a game-high 24 as she powered a Delaware lineup that shot 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from the floor in the second half after making just 8-of-24 field goal attempts in the first half.
Buchanan also pulled down a game-best 11 rebounds to post the double-double. Fellow senior Akeema Richards joined Buchanan in double figures with 14 points while freshman Shanice Johnson chipped nine points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Junior Kelva Atkins tallied 11 points to for UNCW, who was just 13-of-46 (.283) from the floor for the contest, including a frosty 5-of-25 effort from the field in the opening frame.
Holding a slim 40-38 lead with 8:07 remaining in the second half, a pair of free throws by Johnson sparked the Blue Hens to score 14 of the next 16 points and build a 54-40 cushion with 4:39 remaining.
The Seahawks would pull within 12 with free throws from Atkins and freshman Johanna McMillan on its next two possessions, but the Blue Hens tallied the final nine points of the game to post the 21-point victory.
In the first half, a good defensive effort allowed UNCW to take an early lead as it held Delaware without a field goal over a 9:32 span to key a 14-1 run that gave the Seahawks a 16-5 advantage midway through the opening frame.
The Blue Hens would swing the momentum in their favor moments later, using a layup by Richards at the 9:27 mark to end the scoring drought and spark the Blue Hens to 15 unanswered points and a 22-16 lead. UNCW would cut into the Delaware cushion prior to the break, scoring six of the final eight points of the frame to make it a 24-22 contest at the break.
The two teams would trade baskets over the first 11 minutes of the second half before Johnson's two free throws ignited the game-changing run.
Both teams return to action Sunday with 2 p.m. matinees. UNCW is at Towson while Delaware hosts Drexel.
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