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Drexel WBB takes down UNCW | The Triangle

Drexel WBB takes down UNCW

Photo Courtesy of Sideline Photos

In a season where securing wins has been a grind for Drexel Women’s Basketball, there have been few opportunities for comfortable wins. However, the team’s Sunday matinee against the UNC Wilmington Seahawks was an opportunity for the squad to blow out a bad team after suffering a demoralizing defeat against reigning CAA champions Monmouth on Feb. 18.

In the first quarter, the game could best be described as a rock fight. Both teams were throwing up enough bricks to build a new Main Building, and it took the Dragons almost six minutes to reach five points. Luckily, if Drexel was cold, the Seahawks were frozen. UNCW scored just six points in the entire quarter, and not only were they missing shots, but they were turning the ball over with regularity. In fact, UNCW finished with the same amount of points as turnovers to end the first quarter. The opening stanza came to an end with Drexel leading 11 to six, but the lead certainly felt like it could have been bigger if Coach Amy Mallon could just dial up some offense from her team. 

Luckily, things started to warm up for the Dragons in the second quarter. Erin Sweeney, who had not played in a game since Jan. 19, came into the game and quickly scored four points. This got the ball rolling and the Dragons would end the frame with 15 points on just below 50% shooting from the field. Again, Wilmington was a tough watch on offense as they turned the ball over eight times while scoring just six points in the quarter. At this point in the game, every single player on UNCW had turned the ball over at some point in the game, a truly impressive statistic. 

Coming out of halftime, the Dragons put together another strong offensive performance, building their lead to 24 points at multiple points throughout the frame. Drexel was getting impactful contributions across the board from their players, with five different scorers getting buckets to net a total of twenty points in the frame. Wilmington scored 12 points in the third quarter, meaning that they scored as many points in the third quarter as they had in the first half of the game. They also managed to slow their turnovers down, only handing it to the Dragons three times. 

With the game locked away for the Dragons, the fourth quarter was largely an opportunity for Amy Mallon’s squad to run the score up and get the end of the Drexel bench some minutes. They accomplished this goal, gaining a 29 point lead with seven minutes to go that saw Jalyn McNeil and Erin Doherty get some run. While neither of these players scored, McNeil grabbed four rebounds. For both McNeil and Doherty, this marked the sixth game they saw action in, and it was tied for the most McNeil has played in a single game. 

All told, this game was a decisive victory for Drexel, proof positive that even in their rebuilding years, this juggernaut of a program is going to take care of their business against bad teams. 

UNCW finished the game with 19 turnovers. Remarkably, four players on UNCW finished with at least as many turnovers as points scored. Equally as remarkable, UNCW is ranked 333rd in the nation in turnovers per game, as they average 19.6 per game. Every single player who saw the court for Wilmington turned the ball over at least once. They did not hit a single three point attempt in the game. Earlier in the season, the Dragons beat Division III opponent Arcadia by the same margin as they beat Wilmington in this game. 

While it is sometimes hard to know what to take away from a blowout, one massive positive could be if Brooke Mullin regains her shooting form. Mullin came into the game on a three game skid of not breaking double digits scoring. Mullin is Drexel’s go-to for just about everything on the court, and if she is not scoring, or even scoring efficiently, their offense tends to fall apart. Mullin scored 16 points with four rebounds and assists, a statline that Coach Mallon would certainly love to see more often. Additionally, Amaris Baker continued her three game streak of double digit scoring, proving that her scoring is something Drexel can begin to rely on as they head to the postseason. 

With this win, Drexel is 7-7 and sitting at eighth in the conference. They have four games remaining, with their next two at home against Stony Brook University and Campbell University. If the Dragons can split their final four games, they should be able to head into the CAA tournament with some momentum and a chance at setting up a very winnable first matchup in the playoffs.