In their past two games, Drexel’s Women’s Basketball team had two golden opportunities to make some noise in conference play and force themselves into the championship contender conversation as they took on the reigning CAA champions in Monmouth and the current first-place team in Stony Brook. But the Dragons fell flat in both games, sliding down the standings and making evident the glaring weaknesses that exist on this roster.
In their first game, in which they hosted Monmouth in The DAC, the Dragons had a 4-1 conference record. While they had not taken on a top-ranked team yet, there seemed to be some momentum behind Amy Mallon’s squad and there was some hope that the team could keep rolling against the then 2-2 Hawks, the same team that unceremoniously knocked Drexel out of the CAA tournament last year.
The game was largely a back-and-forth contest, and Drexel entered the fourth quarter down just two points. However, the Dragons ended up giving the game away to the Hawks in the final minutes to lose by a score of 63 to 55, and the dominant factor of the game was Monmouth’s ability to score the basketball while Drexel’s season-long offensive malaise continued.
While Amy Mallon got a massive contribution from Amaris Baker, who erupted for 21 points, the rest of her squad was either ineffective, underutilized, or invisible. Brooke Mullins and Chloe Hodges each scored nine points on a combined 7-27 shooting performance. Freshman Laine McGurk was a bright spot as she contributed eight points on 3-7 shooting, but was only on the court for fourteen minutes. Grace O’Neil played all but four minutes in this contest, but only shot the ball one time and finished the game with no points.
As Drexel took a trip up to Stony Brook to take on the first-place Seawolves, there was some hope that Amy Mallon and her staff would be able to scheme a way to stifle their opponent’s offense. The Seawolves score an average of 76 points per game, a whopping 20 points more than Drexel.
In good news, The Dragons held Stony Brook to just 62 points. In bad news, the Drexel offense went from ugly to ice cold. In the first quarter, the Dragons held Stony Brook to just 14 points, which would have been a great sign had Drexel not scored zero points in the opening ten minutes of the game.
From the first quarter on, the game was essentially over. Drexel shot 24% from the floor, 15% from beyond the arc, and gave up 15 points off of turnovers. Brooke Mullins shot a brutal 1-15 from the floor and Laine McGurk was unable to infuse any meaningful offense into the Dragons as she shot 3-10.
Overall, these two losses are emblematic of Drexel’s greater issue, and that is their lack of scoring threats. Brooke Mullins is the team’s most skilled player, and while she certainly puts up shots, many of them are heavily contested and ill-advised. The reason opposing defenses can guard her so closely is because there are few other players on the team besides McGurk who can create their own shot and be an offensive threat.
If Amy Mallon continues to not be able to find ways to create a more evenly distributed scoring effort from her team, the Dragons look like they will continue along as they have been, beating up on the bottom tier teams of the CAA and getting beaten up by the top squads in the conference.