Delle Donne's illness holding back Delaware women

Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

The women's basketball teams at Maryland and Delaware -- which play Thursday night -- opened the season ranked fifth and 11th, respectively. But while the Terrapins (7-2) have been stricken with the curse of the torn ACL, the Blue Hens (5-2) have been hindered by the loss of superstar Elena Delle Donne.

The 6-foot-5 Delle Donne, who led the nation in scoring last year (28.1 points per game), has played only one game, felled by Lyme Disease, which leaves her extremely fatigued with migraine headaches and severe muscle aches. Delle Donne missed 12 games in her sophomore year as she battled the condition. It receded last year but returned this fall when practice began.

"I thought I was kind of clearing it," Della Donne told ESPN last month. "I even started going off medicines in the summer because I was doing so well."

Last year at Comcast Center, Delle Donne scored 32? points and Maryland's Laurin Mincy had 25 in an entertaining Maryland 85-76 victory. But this year both are on the sideline, Delle Donne with her disease and Mincy with her surgically repaired knee.

- Kevin Dunleavy

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