The most accomplished senior class in the history of Delaware basketball will be honored at the Bob Carpenter Center tonight. Seven young women, who helped transform UD from an upper-tier mid-major program to a player on the national stage, are preparing for their final regular season game in Newark. The 16th-ranked Hens are one win shy of running the table in conference play for the second consecutive campaign. A win over the Panthers would also extend Delaware’s overall winning streak to 22 straight games, but none of the attention will be centered on any of that this evening.
No, this game is about Chelsea Craig, Jaquetta May, Trumae Lucas, Lauren Carra, Danielle Parker, Kayla Miller and Elena Delle Donne. The night will be made a tad simpler by the fact that it likely will not be these players’ final time playing at the Bob. Delaware is virtually assured of hosting first round NCAA Tournament games on campus. So that sense of finality is not as oppressing as it is during most Senior Nights.
Still, anytime a collective group is honored, particularly one which has meant as much to a community as these seniors have, the emotions are going to flow. This may prove to be a difficult day for Delaware to stay focused on the task at hand. Fortunately for the Hens, Georgia State is the perfect opponent for such a situation. The Panthers do not match up well with UD, and they have just five CAA wins on the season. When the teams squared off in Atlanta on January 31, Georgia State failed to reach 40 points, scoring just 38, in a 32-point Delaware victory.
Even if the Hens can’t keep the tears out of their eyes once the ball is tipped, you still have to like their chances. That’s why everyone is treating this night as a celebration, because that is exactly what it is.
Speaking of celebrations, tune into 1290 The Ticket or 1410 WDOV for a special 60-minute edition of Blue Hens Game Day tonight at 6 p.m. The show will include interviews and features on all seven members of Delaware’s senior class as well as an interview with Hens head coach Tina Martin.