EAST LANSING, MI -- The University of Delaware women’s basketball team will make its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 18 as the Blue Hens will face host and No. 23 Michigan State at the Breslin Student Events Center.
Delaware (26-5), which tied a school-record with 26 wins this season, earned a No. 12 seed in the Greensboro Region and will battle the No. 5 seed Spartans at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 Television. The Blue Hens made their last NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001 when they travelled to North Carolina State and fell to the Wolfpack 76-57.
The winning team will advance to face the winner of the No. 4 Rutgers (22-8) vs. No. 13 East Carolina (19-13) contest in the second round on Tuesday, March 20. Rutgers, the Big East Tournament champion, is ranked No. 15 nationally by the Associated Press.
Other matchups taking place in East Lansing include No. 2 seed and seventh ranked Vanderbilt (27-5) battling No. 15 Delaware State (20-12) at 12 noon and No. 7 seed and 20th-ranked Bowling Green (29-3) taking on No. 10 Oklahoma State (20-10) at 2:30 p.m.
For tickets contact Michigan State’s ticket office at 517-355-1610 or visit the Michigan State athletic tickets website at http://msuspartans.cstv.com/tickets/msu-tickets.html.
"Being selected for the NCAA Tournament justifies where we are as a program," said Delaware head coach Tina Martin. "We are going to go out and play as hard as we possibly can."
The Blue Hens finished tied for second in the Colonial Athletic Association this season with a 16-2 mark and fell in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament to James Madison.
Old Dominion, which earned the league’s automatic bid earned a No. 7 seed and will take on No. 10 seed Florida State. James Madison also earned an at-large bid as a No. 9 seed. The Dukes will take on No. 8 Pittsburgh. This is the first time the league has placed three teams into the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan State (23-8), which finished third in the Big 10 with a 13-3 conference record, has made the NCAA tournament each of the last five seasons. Among the Spartan losses this season was a 57-53 loss at home to Hofstra Nov. 22. Delaware swept Hofstra 59-56 and 67-59 this season.
The Spartans, who feature four double figure scorers, are led by Victoria Lucas-Perry, who is averaging 13.5 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game, and Allyssa DeHaan, who averages 12.6 ppg and a team-high 7.5 rpg. The Spartans are coached by Joanne McCallie, who previously served at Delaware rival Maine when both were members of the America East conference.
Delaware, led by 11th-year head coach Tina Martin, are paced by All-American candidate, first team All-CAA guard, and CAA leading scorer Tyresa Smith (19.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg), third team All-CAA forward Chrissy Fisher ( 13.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg), and senior point guard Alena Koshansky (at right; 7.3 ppg, 103 assists).