Elena Della Donne

March 21, 2012 by staff 

Elena Della Donne, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne (11) is pressured by Kansas’ Bunny Williams (5) during the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round women’s college basketball game in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Kansas defeated Delaware 70-64. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

The nation’s leading scorer had 34 points, but Angel Goodrich answered with 27 of her own for the 11th-seeded Jayhawks, who rallied in the second half for a 70-64 win over the Blue Hens on Tuesday night.

Delaware’s (31-2) only other loss this season was to No. 5 Maryland on Dec. 29. The school entered the tournament having never won an NCAA game before its opening-round win over Arkansas-Little Rock, in which Delle Donne scored 39 points in 30 minutes of action.

Despite the success, the abrupt and unexpected end to the season was hard to take.

“This really has been a dream season and a dream team,” Delle Donne said while fighting back tears. “The thing we’re most disappointed about is just it being over, especially saying goodbye to our seniors.

“I’m just sorry for the seniors and to my teammates, because we had a lot of fun.”

The Jayhawks (21-12), improbably, moved to the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since 1998. They’ll face Tennessee on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.

“When I was in the locker room, I told my teammates to pinch me,” junior Aishah Sutherland said.

They advanced by rallying in the second half behind Goodrich, who fell one short of her career high in scoring. The junior was 12 of 21 from the field, 3 of 6 on 3-pointers, and also added six assists.

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