MADISON (NJ) – The Delaware Valley College women's basketball team trailed by just eight at halftime, but defending national champion FDU-Florham outscored the Aggies, 46-24, over the final 20 minutes and notched a 79-49 home triumph in the Freedom Conference semifinals.
This marked the second straight year that Delaware Valley reached the conference tournament, both times as the fourth seed and with trips to FDU-Florham. The Aggies led late in last year's game before falling 56-49. This year's squad saw its record fall to 13-13 and they will now wait until Monday to see if they are selected for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoffs for a second straight year.
The Devils improved to 25-1 on the season and have won 60 of their last 61 games. They will look to capture their third straight Freedom Conference championship when they host second-seeded Eastern University on Saturday.
In the first half, both teams struggled early as they combined to shoot just 6-for-27 from the field over the first 10 minutes of action (3-for-14 for FDU-Florham, 3-for-13 for the Aggies). The Aggies held an 8-5 advantage after a Brenna Coll layup, but FDU-Florham then strung together an 18-4 run to open up a 23-12 advantage with 5:21 to play in the first stanza. Six different Devils scored in the stretch led by five points from Danielle Leguillou off the bench.
Delaware Valley scored nine of the next 14 points thanks to seniors Coll and Shannon Barlow, who had five and four points respectively in that stretch, to make it a six point game. Alyssa McDonough responded for FDU-Florham with eight of the game's next 12 points to put the Devils up 33-23 with 80 seconds to play in the first half. Anastasi closed the half for the Aggies with a pair of free throws to close the deficit to eight at halftime.
The second half was all FDU-Florham as it put together runs of 14-4 and 17-2 in the stanza. The Devils shot 44.4 percent from the field compared to just 30.3 percent (10-of-33) for the Aggies, who were also 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. After a first half that saw Delaware Valley hold a 21-18 advantage on the boards, they were outrebounded 31-13 in the second.
Coll reached a milestone in this game as she became the first player in program history to score 1,400 points (1,405) and grab 700 rebounds (770) in a career. She had nine points, nine rebounds and four assists on Wednesday. Anastasi led the Aggies with 18 points and five assists to go with three boards. Barlow finished with eight points in the setback.
McDonough led the Devils with a game-high 22 points while contributing six rebounds and two assists. Twins Kara and Kyra Dayon had 12 and 11 points respectively and Delisha Thompson had nine points and nine rebounds off the bench.