Delaware-Kentucky Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 29, 2013
Though star Elena Delle Donne and sixth-seeded Delaware must first get past No. 2 seed Kentucky in Saturday's semifinals, it's hard not to look ahead to what their next game could bring in the Bridgeport regional. After Delle Done's Blue Hens play, Connecticut plays its semifinal game against Maryland. If Delaware and UConn do make it through, it would set up an intriguing finals matchup. Delle Donne originally signed with UConn before abruptly leaving after a short stay to return home to Delaware. "I haven't allowed myself to think about that," Delle Donne said. "All year our team has said just focus on the next game. If we were thinking about UConn, we'd overlook Kentucky. We're focused on Kentucky to hopefully advance." Delle Donne is one of three reigning conference players of the year still around in Bridgeport, including Kentucky's two-time SEC player of the year A'dia Mathies. The Wildcats are happy that a flu bug that ran through the team in the first two rounds has run its course. "I'm hopeful it won't be an issue," Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. "Not anything you want to go through as a coach. Right now all the players can play and are healthy." Mathies, who had a stomach bug, matched her career high with 34 points in the second-round win over Dayton. "I'm 100 percent," Mathies said. "I don't know if it was the flu, but my stomach was hurting really badly." The Wildcats will have to figure out a way to slow down Delle Donne. The 6-foot-5 star, who is the second-leading scorer in the nation, has 33 points in each of the first two games of the NCAA tournament and helped guide the Blue Hens to their first trip to the regional semifinals. "She's just a fantastic player and you can tell a unique talent, an incredible talent," Mitchell said. The Blue Hens are aware of the Wildcats' "40 minutes of dread" pressure defense. "They have a really tough pressure defense," Delle Donne said. "We have faced some throughout the tournament, none like this. We have to take care of the basketball, limit our turnovers. We have to run in transition with them." Delaware played its first two games at home in front of a loud raucous crowd that included Vice President Joe Biden. Coach Tina Martin wasn't sure if he'd be in attendance this weekend. "I can't speak to the vice president's schedule. He's a good luck charm as we haven't lost when he's been in the stands," Martin said.
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