February 10, 2017 by Christopher Markowitz
Drexel University’s women’s basketball team split its road trip this past weekend with a 54-44 win over the University of Delaware Blue Hens Feb. 5 and a 79-75 loss to the College of Charleston Cougars Feb. 3.
Entering their matchup with Delaware, the Dragons were in fourth place in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 6-4 record, while the Blue Hens sat atop them in third with a 7-3 mark.
Senior Sarah Curran, Drexel’s leading scorer this season, had a very productive weekend and scored 20 plus points in both of her outings.
Curran was instrumental in her team’s win over the Blue Hens. In the first half, Curran led the Dragons with 12 points on four of eight shooting from the floor, which included three three-pointers and an and-one on a layup. Alongside Curran, senior Jessica Pellechio was also solid offensively in the game’s first two quarters, scoring 11 points on three of six shooting from the floor.
The game was close at the end of the first period, with Drexel leading 16-12. However, the Dragons turned on the jets in the second quarter and outscored the Blue Hens 23-10 to take a commanding 39-22 lead into halftime.
The Dragons’ offensive performance was encouraging early on as they shot an efficient 48.4 percent from the field in the first half. However, the flame that the Dragons breathed in the first half was iced in the third quarter, where Drexel managed to score just six points on a pedestrian one for 12 shooting from the floor.
Despite their struggles, the Dragons were helped by the fact that the Blue Hens had problems of their own on offense. Delaware scored just nine points in the third quarter, which allowed Drexel to take a 14-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
Early in the fourth, Drexel seemed to be pulling away from Delaware. Freshman Bailey Greenberg connected on a three-point shot at the 6:08 mark to give Drexel an 18-point lead, its largest of the evening.
Following Greenberg’s three, the Dragons went almost three full minutes without scoring a basket, but the distance between them and Delaware was so great, the Blue Hens were unable to mount a comeback. Drexel came away with a 54-44 win.
The victory bumped the Dragons’ record to 16-6 on the season and 7-4 in the conference, which moved them into a tie with Delaware for third place in the CAA. With a win in the head to head matchup, the Dragons currently hold a tiebreaker over Delaware. Drexel needed the win to keep pace with James Madison University, who improved to 9-2 over the weekend.
In the earlier matchup last week, the Dragons were vanquished by the College of Charleston Cougars in a 79-75 loss. Considering the Cougars 3-6 CAA record entering the game, and the fact that Drexel defeated them 70-57 early this year, the outcome was not one that many expected. The game was close throughout, with the lead shifting on five separate occasions.
Curran was solid yet again in the first half, leading the Drexel offense by scoring 15 points. With the strength of Curran’s shooting and a strong second quarter, the Dragons took a 34-30 lead into halftime.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, the Cougars exploded on offense in the game’s final two quarters and shot 58.6 percent from the floor in the second half. Breanna Boldan and Tanisha Brown were particularly productive for the Cougars, scoring 13 and 10 points respectively.
While the Cougars managed to pour it on offensively in the second half, the Dragons were able to stay in the game thanks to an outburst by Pellechio. She dropped 18 points on six of 13 shooting from three-point range in the second half. Senior Meghan Creighton was also impressive as she scored eight points and picked up three steals.
Drexel entered the fourth quarter with a 53-50 lead, but that quickly vanished after Darien Huff made a three-pointer on the Cougars’ opening possession of the final period. Creighton responded with a three, but the Cougars’ Nola Henry answered with a triple of her own.
After an empty trip by the Dragons, Tanisha Brown made a layup to give the Cougars a 58-56 lead. The Cougars held the lead the rest of the way. Drexel was able to keep the game close, but the Cougars had an answer to every shot the Dragons made.
Pellechio finished the game with a team high 21 points. Curran finished behind her with 20 and Creighton ended up with 14. It was the first time all season that the Dragons lost a game in which at least three of their players scored in double digits.
Next up for the Dragons is a home game against the College of William & Mary Feb. 10.