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Kentucky holds off the Delle Donne led Blue Hens

Mar 30, 2013 - 8:32 PM Bridgeport, CT (Sports Network) - Jennifer O'Neaill scored 19 points for Kentucky as the second-seeded Wildcats defeated the sixth-seeded Delaware Blue Hens, 69-62, in the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA Women's Tournament.

A'dia Mathies netted 16 points for Kentucky (30-5), which will take on the Connecticut in the Elite 8. The Wildcats also went to the regional final last season only to be defeated by Connecticut by 15 points.

Elena Delle Donne poured in 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds in her final collegiate game for Delaware (32-4). Lauren Carra posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Trumae Lucas chipped in with 11 points. Delle Donne finished the contest as the fifth all-time leading scorer in NCAA history as she passed Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw and Maya Moore on Saturday.

The Wildcats took control early on and led 41-27 at halftime after they hit on 44.4 percent of their field goal attempts in the opening 20 minutes. Delle Donne scored 17 points in the first half, but her squad trailed by double- digits after grabbing 13 less rebounds in the period.

The Blue Hens refused to go away and scored 22 points in the paint along with 17 second-chance points after the intermission. Kentucky watched its lead get increasingly smaller as Delle Donne hit a jumper with 2:47 left to bring Delaware within two points at 62-60, but Kastine Evans drilled a 3-pointer for the Wildcats on the next possession to put it out of reach.

Delaware finished the contest 19-of-20 from the free-throw line and ended up with 40 rebounds to Kentucky's 35. The Blue Hens were plagued by 19 turnovers which the Wildcats converted into 13 points.