Talk about an awesome early Christmas gift, not only did University of Delaware dominate Loyola University for a 71-38 win at home but the Blue Hens Nicole Enabosi went off in this game and scored 23 points and 20 rebounds. Yes, you read that right, 20 REBOUNDS.
The double-double was Enabosi’s eight straight game with a double-double which is a school record. Enabosi also had the fifth 20-20 game in school history, former Blue Hens Lori Howard accomplished the feat twice ( 1979-80 and 1980-81), Sharon Wisler did it in the 1988-89 season and Donna Werner accomplished it in the 1983-84 season.
Also, Enabosi’s 20 rebounds was the highest for a Blue Hens player since Sharon Wisler recorded 20 points on March 5, 1989 against Bucknell.
Enabosi posted the first 20-20 performance in the CAA since the 2012-2013 season when Hofstra’s Shante Evans had 33 points and 23 boards against George Mason.
Now let us look at the two teams match up history prior to Friday’s game:
The Hens lead the all-time series against Loyola 13-1 ( now 14-1) since their first meeting in the 1980 season.
Delaware has won now 13 straight games over Loyola and the Hens are also 7-0 vs the Greyhounds at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Let us look how this dominating win came about for the Hens and it all started in the first quarter where Rebecca Lawrence had an nice assist to Nicole Enabosi to score the first two points of the game at the eight minute mark of the first period.
Then the Hens looked like they rolling early with a 7-2 lead with 5:33 left in the first period but then Loyola came fighting back in the first with a three pointer by Alexis Gray to make the Blue Hens lead shrink to 7-5.
Hens extended their lead to 11-5 minutes later with buckets from Enabosi and Samone DeFreese.
Well, then Loyola went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 11 a piece with 1:07 left in the 1st period. Next, the Greyhounds scored four more points to end the quarter with a 15-11 lead.
The biggest reason the Greyhounds were able to find success in the first period was getting to the foul line often and team went 6 for 8 at the line. Delaware did not go to the foul line at all in the first period.
In the second period, that all changed because Delaware looked like a team on a mission and was definitely playing more aggressive then in the first period.
Around the 8:23 mark, Delaware was behind Loyola 18-15 and while it seemed like the Blue Hens were getting close to the lead, the Greyhounds just found a way to add to their lead which jumped to 21-17 at one point.
Loyola’s lead did not deter Delaware as with buckets from Enabosi and Justina Mascaro ( 2 good free throw shots) the team tied it up at 21 a piece with 6:02 remaining in the half.
Then about a minute later, Blue Hens took their first lead of the second period when Alison Lewis made a foul shot which made the score 22-21.
The two teams then traded leads for a couple minutes until Delaware had enough of that and took control of the game.
In the last three minutes of the half, the Hens went on a 10-2 run which put the score at the end of the half 35-26 in Delaware’s favor.
Enabosi had eight of the ten points on the Blue Hens run at end of the second half.
In the second period, the Hens finally got to the free throw line and used it well going 9 for 11 at the line. Also, they limited Loyola at the line in the second period with them going 1 for 2 at the line.
Then the second half came and Delaware did not let their momentum slip, the Hens started the third period on a 20-2 run. Yes, you heard that right.
The Blue Hens outscored Loyola 25-6 overall in the period and Mascaro led the team with six points in the period.
Delaware ended the third period with a commanding 60-32 lead over Loyola.
Fourth period started with Loyola going on a mini 4-0 run and that was pretty much the highlight for them as then Delaware went on 11-2 run to seal a 71-38 win.
This win marks Delaware’s third straight win and their fifth win out of six games.
For individual performances as we mentioned earlier Nicole Enabosi had 23 points and 20 rebounds in the dominating win.
Other then Enabosi, two other Blue Hens scored in double digits and they were Kiersten West (10) and Justina Mascaro (12).
This win closes out non-conference regular season part of the Hens schedule, now it will be all CAA opponents.
Delaware (7-4) heads to Drexel on December 29th at 4pm ET.
Quotes of the Game:
Head Coach Natasha Adair on the team’s win and the dominating performance of Nicole Enabosi:
After our hiatus for final exams, we talked about acing our last exam and today’s game being our final. I challenged this group to be focused. They just locked in and I’m very proud of our effort. We came into the game today knowing we didn’t have our starting point guard [in guard Abby Gonzales]. We had people step up today, but we also had 22 bench points. It’s always been a group effort.”
“Today Nicole was more excited for her teammates and to talk to Justina [Mascaro] to get her ready for the game. Cheering for Alison [Lewis] when she comes in or Erin [Antosh] when she gets that rebound. She just plays. We talked about her motor and leading us with her hustle plays and effort. We have Nicole, and we’re excited and smiling about that, but there’s more. As her goals are set even higher there’s more for her to do for this team. Night in and night out, she never surprises me. I knew about Nicole even before we got here, because Nicole is one of highest-touted players in the country and this area. She was no surprise. In addition to her talent, it’s her drive. I’ve seen a lot of talented players over my days, but I haven’t seen many with her drive. She wants to be coached and she doesn’t make excuses. She listens, and then she goes and asks questions. She’s that player that is a student of the game, and it’s okay that she always wants to know why. She always tells me ‘Coach, I want to be better.’ She never accepts where she is.”
Nicole Enabosi on Coach Adair and her performance vs Loyola:
“Coach Adair has been able to teach me so much and has opened my eyes about some things that I don’t do. She really harps on the things I need to work on just as much as she harps on the things I do really well. I really love that about her. She’ll tell me to go left if I go right too much, and to definitely take the open shots. Just having the confidence that she gives me, I was able to thrive on that today.”
Points in Paint: