This Week in Blue Hen Athletics History
Presented by Courtyard By Marriott at the University of Delaware
University of Delaware Athletics takes a weekly look back at some of the more memorable dates in Blue Hen history.
March 3, 2005
Delaware Women's Basketball Clinches CAA Regular Season Title
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The University of Delaware women's basketball squad clinched the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title and the top seed in the conference tournament with a hard-fought 59-52 victory over host James Madison at the JMU Convocation Center.
Tiara Malcom led four Blue Hen scorers in double figures with 19 points and eight rebounds, Tiffany Young added 14 points, including six in a key stretch late in the game, and Amanda Blackstone and Tyresa Smith each chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds as Delaware (23-4, 16-2 CAA) won its third straight game.
"Our kids just played great tonight, I am so proud of them," said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. "I'm happy for them, they deserve a regular season championship. It's gratifying but there is more work to be done. Our kids stepped up when we needed it tonight and gave us a big psychological lift. We know that when we're under pressure, we can get the job done. We really did a great job in the final four minutes."
Delaware clinched its second CAA regular season title in three years. The Hens will be looking to win their first conference tournament title and earn their first NCAA Tournament berth since winning the America East title in 2001
James Madison, which entered the game having won six of its last seven games, fell to 17-10 (10-8 CAA) as the Dukes shot just 39 percent from the field and turned the ball over 23 times. Shirley McCall led JMU with 15 points while Leslie Dickinson added 13 points and Meredith Alexis contributed eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Delaware won its 12th straight road game and extended its CAA road winning streak to 10 games since last season. The Hens have also won 20 of their last 22 games.
Delaware used a 14-0 run late in the first half to take a 24-22 lead into intermission and led for the entire second half before the Dukes took their only lead at 42-41 when McCall nailed a three-pointer with 8:27 left to play. But the Blue Hens followed with an 8-2 run to take the lead for good as Young scored six points during the pivotal span.
James Madison pulled to within two points when Dickinson hit one free throw and Alexis followed with two of her own to cut the margin to 54-52 with two minutes left to play. But Smith gave the Hens some breathing room with two free throws with 1:11 to go with two free throws and added another with 15 seconds remaining to push the lead to 58-52.
Smith then clinched the win when she stole the ball after missing a free throw and was fouled. She stepped up and hit another free throw with 7.3 seconds left for the final seven-point margin.