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CAA quarterfinals: women’s basketball defeats William & Mary, 71-60 | The Triangle

CAA quarterfinals: women’s basketball defeats William & Mary, 71-60

Junior Niki Metzel (24) led the Dragons with 20 points to defeat the College of William & Mary in the CAA quarterfinals March 14 (Photograph courtesy of Drexel Athletics).

The Drexel University women’s basketball team is moving on to the Colonial Athletic Association Championship semifinals after defeating the College of William & Mary Tribe 71-60, March 14. The Dragons got revenge on William & Mary after losing a triple-overtime heartbreaker to the Tribe, 77-72 March 1.

In the first quarter, the Tribe jumped out to an early 9-4 lead. William & Mary senior Bianca Boggs found sophomore Gabby Rodgers down low twice for easy layups, then Boggs added a fastbreak three of her own. Out of a Drexel timeout, junior Aubree Brown nailed two threes, one from center and another from the corner, to give Drexel its first lead of the day.

A steal by senior Misha Jones led to a layup by CAA Rookie of the Year freshman Eva Hodgson for William & Mary. But a wide-open three by sophomore Kayla Bacon followed by a high arcing elbow three from freshman Maura Hendrixson put the Dragons up 18-14.

In the second quarter, a three from Hodgson cut the Drexel lead to one, but the Dragons responded with a 16-2 run sparked by a Hendrixson three. Junior Niki Metzel added an and-one, then CAA Player of the Year junior Bailey Greenberg added a three to force a William & Mary timeout.

Out of the timeout, Drexel kept their foot on the pedal while the William & Mary offense sputtered. Four points from both freshman Keishana Washington and senior Eline Maesschalk pushed the Drexel advantage to 37-23. Sophomore Hannah Nihill scored four points in the quarter, as did Tribe redshirt sophomore Harper Birdsong, to make it 43-30 going into the break.

Drexel continued to shut down the Tribe offense to start the second half. William & Mary was held to just 4-11 (36.3 percent) shooting in the quarter, while turning over the ball five times. Metzel kicked out to a wide-open Washington who nailed a corner to give Drexel a 21 point lead, their largest of the day.

After a Boggs layup, Brown drove, put on a nice spin move and was able to finish the layup through contact to make it 57-36. However, Reynolds closed out the quarter strong for the Tribe, scoring five straight points to cut the Drexel lead to 16.

Boggs came out hot to start the final period, starting with a second chance putback and adding an and-one to make it 59-46. Metzel made two layups, but a three from Reynolds and a jumper from Boggs put the Drexel lead at 14.

A pair of free throws by Metzel made it 69-53 with a few minutes to go. Metzel came up big in the fourth, scoring eight points in the quarter. Hodgson hit a three from the top of the key, but time was running out for the Tribe. A layup by Reynolds cut the lead to 11, but the Tribe didn’t get any closer.

Metzel led the game with 20 points while also grabbing six rebounds. For William & Mary, Boggs posted 18 points in her final game, and Reynolds had 17. Drexel shot much better than they did in their previous matchup with the Tribe. The Dragons went 25-46 (54.3 percent) on the day with a 7-14 (50 percent) mark from deep. William & Mary shot 24-50 (48 percent) from the field along with 4-15 (26.7 percent) from three.

The Dragons will play in the CAA semifinal tomorrow, March 15, at 4 p.m. Drexel will take on the winner of the matchup between the No. 3 University of North Carolina Wilmington Seahawks and No. 6 Northeastern University Huskies.