DOVER, Del. (AP) — Elena Delle Donne scored 22 points in her first game of the season to lead Delaware to a 64-46 win over Providence on Tuesday night.
The preseason All-American had missed the first three games while dealing with symptoms of Lyme Disease.
"I felt OK. My endurance isn't there, but it's something I can't push, either," Delle Donne said. "I'm just working to get back. I don't want to push it too hard and send myself back to the bed."
Without their star, who averaged a nation-leading 28.1 points to go with 10.3 rebounds last season, the Blue Hens (2-2) fell out of the Top 25 on Monday. Delaware had been ranked every week since joining the poll for the first time in school history last November.
"Obviously, it's great to have Elena back in the lineup," Delaware coach Tina Martin said. "Things run just a little bit more smoothly with her in there. I was pleased with how we played and it was great to get the win."
Delle Donne got going quickly, scoring 15 points in the first half as the Blue Hens built a 41-25 lead at the break. She missed her first three shots, but finished the game 9 for 20 from the field. She also had eight rebounds in 27 minutes. It was the 73rd time in her 85-game career she's scored more than 20 in a game.