Bouncing back after losing their second game of the season to a talented Princeton University Tigers squad, the Drexel University women’s basketball has leaped to a 3-1 record, capturing two key back-to-back wins at home in the past week and a half. First, the Dragons defeated Colgate University, and then before the Thanksgiving holiday, took on Philadelphia rival Saint Joseph’s University.
If the past two games are any indication of what the season will hold for the women’s basketball team, the outlook is positive — very positive. Two wins coming off a loss not only show the team’s ability for success against competitive opponents in and out of conference, but also their resilience and ability to bounce-back from a tough loss.
In their first match-up against Colgate Nov. 22, the Dragons fortunately jumped out to a good start early, closing the first half with a 33-19 lead. Notable performances in the game came from returning leaders Meghan Creighton and Sarah Curran, who had 14 and 19 points respectively.
In the first half, Creighton was a force to be reckoned with, racking up 11 points, coming into halftime shooting 100 percent from the floor, including two made three-pointers. Rachel Pearson also added two threes in the first half to keep Dragon scoring consistent and high.
While the Dragons won the game by eight points with a score of 59-51 and held the lead for the entirety of the game, the Raiders outscored Drexel in the second half by four points, leaving narrow room for the Dragons to escape with a win as their defense and shooting percentage declined through the last 20 minutes of play.
The largest lead the Dragons held was 17 points with 18:36 left to play, after Curran hit a three to net the first bucket for either team in the second half. The Dragon shooting went cold in the second half, dropping from a scorching 52 percent from the floor to 38 percent, while Colgate leaped up, from . Curran kept the team alive in the second half, scoring an additional 13 points to add to her 19 from the first half with less than 20 minutes to go.
While the Dragons did significant damage from behind the three-point line, making six three-pointers, Colgate dominated the inside game. Twenty-four of the Raider’s points (just less than half), came from within the paint, while Drexel had only 14 points inside. The Raiders also outrebounded the Dragons, ripping down 33 boards to Drexel’s 30.
However, Drexel proved in their next match-up Nov. 25, a battle with the St. Joe’s Hawks, that their inside game can also be a strong suit. While their presence in the paint versus Colgate was less than impressive, the Dragons roasted St. Joe’s from the inside out. While St. Joe’s still outrebounded Drexel by two, the Dragons put 34 points on the board from the paint, while the Hawks only put up 18.
Again, the scoring was led by Curran, in an absolute dominant performance where she netted 25 points, complemented by two steals and one assist. The Dragons put two other scorers in double digits: sophomore reserve Alexis Smith, who came off the bench hot with 13 points, and Creighton, who recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
St. Joe’s only lead of the game came within the first three minutes of play as they went up by one point. However, as the Drexel offense heated up, the Hawks fell behind. Drexel went up 17 as the first half closed, shooting an incredible 71 percent from the floor, and 56 percent from three. Drexel also capitalized on SJU’s carelessness with the ball, creating 19 points from the 17 turnovers they forced. Drexel themselves took great care of the ball, with only six turnovers total.
Drexel maintained their distance in the second half, taking the win with a 13-point lead at a final score of 76-63. However, it is interesting to note that again, the Dragons lost the second half, outscored 31-27 by the Hawks in the final twenty minutes of play.
As the season continues, it will be imperative for Drexel to ensure that their second-half performance is just as competitive as their first half one — while it’s hard to come out with high intensity after taking a big lead before a break in the action, second-half performances will be key in competitive conference games, and undoubtedly will be the deciding factor to whether or not a game becomes a win or loss for the Dragons. Drexel will be forced to tighten up their second-half defense and keep their scoring “on” down the home stretch if they want to be successful within the Colonial Athletic Association and make a run for the playoffs.
The Dragons get back to action after their Thanksgiving reprieve Saturday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m. in the Brown Classic in Providence, Rhode Island, versus St. Bonaventure University.