Newark, DE – Elena Delle Donne scored 41 points to lead No. 15/No. 16 Delaware to a 84-66 victory over Hofstra on Thursday evening at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Hofstra was led in scoring by its own All-American, as junior forward Shante Evans had team-highs of 22 points and seven rebounds to lead the way for the Pride.
It was a spirited contest between the two conference rivals as the game was tight for the first 30-plus minutes before Delaware used a 14-0 scoring run to take control of the contest.
The contest was Hofstra’s tenth all-time against a ranked opponent as the Pride falls to 1-9 all-time in those games. Hofstra’s lone win against a ranked team came on November 22, 2006 in a 57-53 win over #17 Michigan State.
The loss drops Hofstra’s record to 14-5 overall and 6-2 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play. Delaware improves to 17-1 and 8-0 in conference action.
An entertaining first half would see the two squads go into the break tied at 37. The first half saw both team’s stars shine brightly as Hofstra was led by 12 points apiece from Evans and sophomore guard Katelyn Loper, while Delle Donne had 16 points to lead Delaware.
Hofstra never trailed in the opening 20 minutes as senior guard Nicole Capurso got the Pride on the board first with a three-pointer at the 18:02 mark before junior forward Candace Bond added a jumper for an early 5-0 Hofstra advantage.
After a basket from Delle Donne closed Delaware to within 11-8 with 13:58 left before halftime, Hofstra used an 8-2 run to take its largest lead of the opening stanza at 19-10 following a three-pointer from Loper.
Late in the first half, a layup from senior center Marie Malone gave Hofstra a 37-33 lead with 1:22 to play, but the Blue Hens scored the final four points of the stanza to knot the score at 37 at the break.
The teams would battle back and forth over the first eight-plus minutes of the second half as a pair of free throws from senior guard Candice Bellocchio would even the score at 55 with 11:11 to play. The free throws capped a 6-0 scoring run for the Pride.
At that point, Delaware would step up defensively and hold Hofstra scoreless from the 11:11 mark until a Bellocchio driving layup ended a 14-0 Blue Hen scoring run with 6:31 showing on the clock, making the score 69-55.
Back-to-back baskets from freshman guard Andreana Thomas and Bellocchio would draw Hofstra to within 71-61 with 5:19 on the clock as the Pride took advantage of Delle Donne’s quick break on the bench.
That would be as close as the Pride would get, though, as Delaware hit a trio of free throws to push the lead back to 74-61 with 4:41 remaining in the second half.
Loper finished with 14 for Hofstra, while Bellocchio had 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Pride.
Lauren Carra was the only other Blue Hen in double figures as she added 16 points for Delaware.
Hofstra returns to action on Sunday when it travels to Drexel for a 2 p.m. contest.