The University of Delaware women's basketball team just kept rolling on Tuesday night in Newark. The Hens proved that their return to the national rankings would not fluster them at all, as they routed Northeastern 77-50. No. 25 Delaware has now won 28 consecutive CAA games and 11 straight overall.
UD appeared as though it might run Northeastern out of the gym in the early minutes on Tuesday, as the Hens got out to a 16-2 edge. Delaware held the Huskies to just 18 points in the opening half, and even though the offense slowed down a little bit, Tina Martin's team still managed to take an 11-point bulge into the locker room at intermission.
With another game on tap for Thursday in Atlanta though, the Hens needed to put Northeastern away early in the second half in order to rest key contributors late. That is exactly what UD accomplished. An 11-0 run turned the game into a rout, and no starter was forced to play more than 29 minutes.
Perhaps most encouragingly, the Hens were able to give extended rests to All-American Elena Delle Donne. The Delaware native poured in 26 more points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from three in only 25 minutes.
Efficient shooting nights have been the norm for Delle Donne of late. After connecting on fewer than 50 percent of her shots from the field in her first eight games back from Lyme's Disease, Delle Donne has made 44 of her 69 field goal attempts over the last four contests. Over that same stretch she has knocked down 11 of her 18 three-point shots.
When Delle Donne is hitting at that kind of a clip, Delaware is incredibly difficult to beat. As a matter of fact, if the Hens' best player is that efficient offensively, there is not a single team in the CAA that can top UD.
The schedule will test the legs of Delle Donne and the rest of her UD teammates this week though. Following their game at Georgia State on Thursday, the Hens return north for a showdown with Hofstra on Sunday. That contest with the Pride will end a stretch of five games in 11 days.
In other words, Delaware is making this look much easier than it actually is. To me, that's the mark of a nationally ranked team. Finally the rest of the country has realized it.