By DOUG FEINBERG, Associated Press
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Elena Delle Donne had a season-high 42 points, including the 2,000th of her career, and added 14 rebounds and six blocks to help No. 10 Delaware beat Hofstra 89-79 on Thursday night.
Delaware (23-1, 14-0 Colonial Athletic Association) used a 15-2 run spanning halftime to take control of the game. Delle Donne, who leads the nation with 28 points a game, had nine points during the burst — including a tough bank shot that capped the spree and made it 50-41.
She hit a pretty 3-pointer from the top of the key a few minutes later to cross the 2,000-point milestone and give the Blue Hens a 59-48 lead. The 6-foot-5 junior scored 14 straight points to help keep Hofstra (17-8, 9-5) from getting any closer than six the rest of the way.
Candice Bellocchio and Katelyn Loper scored 21 points each to lead the Pride. Loper returned after missing the last two games because of a concussion.
The Blue Hens continued their ascent up the Top 25, earning their highest ever ranking Monday. Delaware has won 13 straight games since its lone loss of the season to Maryland. Delle Donne has been the main reason for the success. She has feasted on Hofstra this season, scoring 41 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the first meeting between the teams three weeks earlier. She's now had four 40-point games this season.
She got off to a slow start as Hofstra built an early advantage. The Blue Hens trailed 39-35 with two minutes left in the first half before scoring the final five points to take a one-point lead at the break. Delle Donne had 14 points in the half, while Bellocchio had 16 to lead Hofstra.
This was the highest-ranked opponent ever to play at Hofstra. Old Dominion was the only other ranked team that the Pride has hosted — and that was a decade ago.
The Pride wore pink warm-up shirts that said "Crush Clare's Cancer" in honor of Clare Droesch. The former Boston College star has stage IV breast cancer and is a friend of Hofstra senior Nicole Capurso. The school had to get a waiver to wear them since Droesch is a high school coach in New York. Droesch talked to the team before the game.
Hofstra also wore its pink uniforms that are usually reserved for the Play4Kay games in honor of former N.C. State coach Kay Yow, who succumbed to cancer three years ago.