Stop me if you have heard this one before; the University of Delaware had the two best basketball players in the CAA last week. Elena Delle Donne and Devon Saddler were honored by the league office on Sunday as the conference’s men’s and women’s players of the week. It marks the seventh time Delle Donne has won the award this season and the third such honor for Saddler. It is the second time both players have won the award during the same week.
Saddler was other-worldly in UD wins over Drexel and UNC-Wilmington. The junior dropped a career-high 31 points in the double-overtime thriller on Thursday versus the Dragons. He followed that up by scoring nine of Delaware’s final ten points in its 79-78 victory over the Seahawks. Saddler finished the night with 24 points as the Hens won for the first time at UNC-W in seven tries.
For the week, the guard shot 56 percent from the floor and 45 percent from three-point range. On the season, he leads the CAA and ranks 14th in the nation at 20.2 points per game. He has scored in double figures in 35 consecutive games—the second-longest active streak in the country—and his 1,600 career points make him just the fourth Blue Hen to ever reach that plateau.
Delle Donne is already UD’s all-time leading scorer. The fifth-year senior pulled to within 214 points of becoming only the ninth 3,000-point-scorer in NCAA history when she averaged 30 points per game in wins over George Mason and James Madison last week.
Delle Donne exploded in the second half of Sunday’s 61-60 victory over the Dukes. She tallied 19 points in the final 20 minutes, including one nine-minute stretch where she put up 14 points on JMU. She also blocked six shots, tying her for the most career rejections in CAA history. The effort helped the Hens extend their winning streak to 19 games by the slimmest of margins. Delaware has also won 36 straight conference contests.
Only one player in the country is averaging more points per game this season than Delle Donne’s 25.1. She is also seventh in the country in foul shooting at 91 percent.
“Elena is a special player, we all know that,” Martin said after her team beat Old Dominion two weeks ago. “She can do it all and we certainly love having her on our side, because she just affects the game in so many different ways.”
Both she and Saddler will look to have their immense impacts felt this week on Long Island when the men and women pay visit to Hofstra. Saddler and the men take on the Pride Wednesday at 7 p.m. on 94.7 WDSD while Delle Done and the women also look to complete their season sweep of Hofstra on Thursday at 7 p.m. on 1290 The Ticket.