James Madison 88, Delaware 83

James Madison 88, Delaware 83

Published Feb. 19, 2010 12:37 a.m. ET

National scoring-leader Elena Delle Donne of Delaware scored 54 points, including a 3-pointer to force overtime, but Dawn Evans and James Madison pulled away in the extra period to win 88-83 Thursday night.

Delle Donne's point total was the highest in Division I game this season, topping the 49-point game Brittany Carter had against Sacramento State in November, and the best since at least the 2001-02 season.

Delle Donne, the 6-foot-5 freshman who gave up a basketball scholarship at Connecticut and then enrolled at Delaware (16-9, 8-6 Colonial Athletic Association), was 18 of 28 from the field, including seven 3-pointers, and 11 of 12 free throws. She scored 31 in the second half, and hit a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer.

``They played great defense, and to tell the truth, I felt like this team was one of the teams that made me work the hardest for my baskets - especially in the first half,'' Delle Donne said.


Dukes coach Kenny Brooks said his team was practically helpless to stop Delle Donne.

``She's almost unguardable,'' he said. ``I looked at my assistants at one time during the game and said, 'Now I know what it's like to play against Kobe,' because she was just making everything.''

Evans, whose 24.8-point scoring average coming in was 1 point behind Delle Donne's, matched her career high with 38 points to lead James Madison (19-6, 9-5). Evans shot 9 for 29.

Delle Donne set school and conference records, and broke the James Madison Convocation Center mark of 45 points, set by Navy's David Robinson on Jan. 10, 1987.

``It was the greatest individual performance I've ever coached,'' Blue Hens coach Tina Martin said. ``And yes, we were trying to get her the ball any way possible because when you're in a zone like that, there's only a few people ... that can shoot with literally two people hanging on her.

``James Madison was draped all over her and she was still scoring.''