MANAGING SPORTS EDITOR
Since making the move from the America East Conference to the CAA in 2001, Delaware’s women’s basketball team had reached the CAA tournament semifinals in all but two seasons.
That number grew to three after a quick exit in this year’s conference tournament. Last Thursday the No. 5 Blue Hens fell to No. 4 William & Mary, 59-44, in the second round of the tournament.
Delaware, after grabbing the five seed with a regular season record of 16-13, received a bye in the first round of the tournament for the second straight season.
Matching up against the Tribe, which the Blue Hens had split the two game season series with, Delaware committed 19 turnovers, tying their third highest number for a game this season. Head Coach Tina Martin’s squad gave up eight three-point shots, while only scoring three of their own and Delaware was outscored in the fourth quarter, 19-7, making only 2-11 shots in the frame.
The only Blue Hens to reach double digit scoring in the game were Erika Brown and Makeda Nicholas, with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Brown said that the turnovers “really killed” the team, something they have struggled with for much of the season. In 16 of Delaware’s 30 games this season, they committed at least 15 turnovers.
Nicole Enabosi, who led the team in points per game this season with an average of 13.7 per contest, only registered seven points on 2-6 shooting. Those six shot attempts are the second-lowest for Enabosi in a single game this season.
While the team awaits for a potential bid to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), they will soon say goodbye to Brown, who finishes her career ranked No. 23 on the all-time program scoring list with 1,031 points.
Also departing is fellow senior Hannah Jardine. Jardine will leave with a career college three point shooting percentage of .393, second on the all-time program list to Delaware legend and current WNBA star Elena Delle Donne.
Next year’s team will be led by the rising junior Enabosi. Guards Abby Gonzales and Bailey Kargo will be tasked with replacing the scoring void left by Brown’s departure, while guard Kiersten West may see a larger role in the absence of Jardine.
With the indefinite suspension of Sadé Chatman, there’s no signal that she’ll be back with the team either.
This concludes Martin’s 21st season at the helm. The 53-year-old, who has gathered a career record of 408-238, is the winningest coach in Delaware men’s and women’s basketball history.