Newark, DE – Behind a home-crowd Elena Delle Donne poured in 33 points as the sixth-seed Delaware Blue Hens earned their first trip to the Sweet 16 with a 78-69 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delle Donne reached the 3,000-point plateau in the win and also collected eight rebounds for Delaware (32-3) which takes on second-seed Kentucky in the next round. Trumae Lucas tallied 20 points off the bench and Danielle Parker hung up a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds as well.
Waltiea Rolle scored 23 points and blocked six shots, Megan Buckland put in 17 points off the bench, Brittany Rountree added 10 points and Tierra Ruffin- Pratt handed out nine assists for the third-seed Tar Heels (29-7).
At the half North Carolina led, 43-35, after shooting 48.4 percent from the floor while hitting 6-of-10 shots from beyond the arc. Delaware shot a less efficient 35.5 percent and managed just a pair of 3-pointers.
The Tar Heels went cold in the second half totaling just nine field goals on 30 percent shooting. Delaware missed all four of its shots from beyond the arc but shot 50 percent from the floor to come back for the win.
The Blue Hens had 12 more free-throw attempts than the Tar Heels and outscored them from the stripe, 26-14. Delaware also had a 43-35 edge in rebounds.