Blue Hens sweep Northeastern in impromptu series to open conference schedule

Delaware’s women’s basketball team had an unexpected delay to their conference opener after their opponent, the College of Charleston, had a positive COVID-19 test within its program.

Jim Pierce, Northeastern athletics
Courtesy of Jim Pierce/Northeastern Athletics
Five Delaware players finished with 10 plus points in its first of back-to-back victories over Northeastern.

BY
Senior Sports Reporter

Despite having to travel on short notice to Boston for back-to-back games, the Blue Hens grabbed two convincing wins against conference foe Northeastern.

Delaware’s women’s basketball team had an unexpected delay to their conference opener after their opponent, the College of Charleston, had a positive COVID-19 test within its program.

However, the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) swiftly altered the schedule to set up the Blue Hens and Northeastern Huskies with two games on Monday and Tuesday. Northeastern’s opponent, Elon, also had a positive COVID-19 test within their program.

Monday’s game became a quick runaway for the visiting Blue Hens. In the first quarter, the Huskies jumped out to a 14-12 lead but subsequently, floundered defensively.

Delaware took a double-digit lead by way of a 16-0 run and never looked back. In the two middle quarters, they scored 25 points apiece and outscored Northeastern by a total of 31 points. With a 70-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter, Delaware comfortably finished out an 86-59 win.

Points off of turnovers swung the game in Delaware’s favor. Delaware capitalized for 34 points compared to Northeastern’s 13 points off of turnovers. The Blue Hens also put up a team-high 20 assists on the season, led by point guard Paris McBride’s seven.

Tuesday’s matchup proved much more competitive and defense-oriented. Delaware headed into halftime with just a 28-23 lead, and struggled to impose their high-tempo offense and fast break tendencies on the opponent.

The Huskies stayed within reach of Delaware for nearly the entire second half thanks to an impressive defensive performance that forced 17 turnovers. However, after a four-minute drought to open up the final quarter, Delaware pulled away with eight late-game points from junior guard Jasmine Dickey and an alley-oop layup made by forward Ty Battle via McBride.

Northeastern was carried by sophomore forward Mide Oriyomi, who put up 20 and 22 points in the back-to-back games, respectively. Aside from her, the Huskies offense was stagnant, due in part to two absent starters from the lineup — juniors Katie May and Alexis Hill.

For some Blue Hens, the two games were a tale of two days. During Monday’s win, Dickey only played 23 minutes, notching 13 points on 5 of 9 from the field. Tuesday’s contest saw her put up a team-high 19 points on 15 shots in 31 minutes of action.

Monday’s victory was highlighted by the offensive balance for Delaware, with four players aside from Dickey scoring in double figures. Even when the team’s star junior was on the bench, Delaware continued to be prolific in scoring.

Tyi Skinner put up a team-high 16 points and 4 assists in Monday’s blowout win. Fellow guards Chyna Latimer and Jewel Smalls joined her with double-digit scoring efforts. These three guards played smaller roles the following day in a lower-scoring game.

Paris McBride showed out on Tuesday with 16 points and seven assists. Forward Ty Battle joined Dickey in putting up double-digit points both days. In fact, Battle put up consecutive double-doubles, leading to a total of 25 points and 24 rebounds (13 offensive rebounds).

Battle’s continued success inside the paint and on the boards has her averaging a double-double with 12.3 points and 11 rebounds per game. Battle, Dickey, and senior Lizzie Oleary have been superb in rebounding to start the season, helping Delaware’s offense remain ever potent.

Even with a surprise series against Northeastern, the Blue Hens were able to stand their ground and continue their offensive success. Now averaging 84 points per outing, Delaware sits second in the CAA, only behind Towson (5-3, 0-1), and in the top 20 nationally.

With a record of 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the CAA, Delaware sits atop the conference standings. Drexel is also 2-0, but loses the tiebreaker with an overall mark of 4-1. All other teams lost at least one conference game this past weekend, aside from Charleston and Elon, two teams who suspended their programs due to positive tests.

The Blue Hens and Huskies are slated to meet again later this season, at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on February 6 and 7. This weekend, Delaware will have a short week as they prepare for a home series versus William & Mary (4-3, 1-1).

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