Delle Donne Makes Upstart Delaware Dangerous in Women's Tourney

Alex KayCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2013

Mar 26, 2013; Newark, DE, USA; Delaware Blue Hens forward Elena Delle Donne (11) waves to fans after beating the North Carolina Tar Heels 78-69 during the second round of the 2013 NCAA womens basketball tournament at the Bob Carpenter Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Elena Delle Donne has made the Delaware Blue Hens a legitimate threat in the 2013 NCAA women’s tournament.

The superstar senior has scored 33 points in both the first and second rounds, helping lead the No. 6-seeded Hens past No. 11 West Virginia and pulling an upset against favored No. 3 North Carolina.

While it’s her best quality, Delle Donne is more than just a scorer. The 6’5” guard/forward has also grabbed 15 rebounds, blocked six shots and dished four assists during the opening pair of tourney contests.

If Delle Donne can keep up this play, the Hens could be dancing their way deep into March Madness.

Up next is No. 2 Kentucky and Delaware is going to have its hands full.

There are a number of dominant players on the Wildcats roster, including DeNesha Stallworth, Jennifer O’Neill and A’dia Mathies. They are capable of scoring from all over the court and will be a matchup nightmare defensively.

It’s worth noting that this will be the first neutral court showdown for the Hens during the tourney. This advantage is something that may have limited Delaware to just 20 fouls in two games, while its opponents were whistled for 44.

However, Delle Donne is an elite enough player to overcome any obstacle and put up a fight against any team in the field. She isn’t afraid to keep trying and working to draw fouls when her shot isn’t falling, as evidenced by a 10-of-28 outing against the Tar Heels.

Her teammates may not be the best group, but they are more than capable of putting Delle Donne in position to succeed.

Kayla Miller averaged 3.1 assists per game, while Trumae Lucas chipped in another 2.6 and Lauren Carra dropped another 2.0—most of these going to leading scorer Delle Donne.

As long as these role players are playing defense and passing the rock around, the Blue Hens are going to have a fighting chance against UK on Saturday in the Sweet 16.

Expect Delle Donne to put up another incredible stat line and could have Delaware continuing its magical run into the Elite Eight when all is said and done.