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Drexel WBB topples Delaware, move on in the CAA Tournament | The Triangle

Drexel WBB topples Delaware, move on in the CAA Tournament

Photo by Kasey Shamis | The Triangle

On March 14, Drexel Women’s Basketball completed their season sweep of the Delaware Blue Hens in the second round of the Coastal Athletic Association’s conference tournament, ending the rivalry with three thrilling victories. Even more important is that the Dragons move on to the tournament’s semi-finals against Monmouth University. 

Similar to their previous two contests, this matchup between the Dragons and Blue Hens was as tight as could be, featuring six lead changes, and no quarter ending with a team leading by more than three points. 

The game was a test of the third highest scoring offense in the CAA in Delaware going against the number one defense in Drexel. In order to keep the contest close, Drexel would have to stifle the Blue Hens high powered offense and scrape together enough baskets when they were on offense.

Through the first two quarters, the Dragons were not necessarily accomplishing this goal as Delaware was shooting 46% from the floor. The good news for Amy Mallon’s squad, however, was that her players were playing such aggressive defense that they were able to mitigate Delaware’s hot shooting by forcing the Blue Hens into 14 turnovers. As a result, the Dragons entered the second half down just three points despite shooting 34% from the floor and making just 25% from beyond the arc. 

In the second half, the game’s offensive progress slowed to a crawl, with Delaware’s shooting performance plummeting down to 26% for the entire second half. Drexel improved to 40%, although that could hardly qualify as an explosive offensive metric.

At the final media timeout of the game, which came amidst a Drexel scoring drought of over five minutes, Delaware had scratched together a five point edge over the Dragons, leading 53-48. With their season on the line, Coach Mallon turned to Hetta Saatman to get the Drexel offense back rolling. Saatman was fouled on the attempt, and went to the line for two free throws. After swishing the first shot, the fifth year’s second shot bounced off the rim and was secured by Chloe Hodges for a Drexel offensive rebound. Brooke Mullin put up a mid range shot that wouldn’t go in, but the rebound was again grabbed by Drexel, and this time Saatman got the ball down low and finished through a foul to bring the Dragons back to a one possession deficit

After Delaware turned in an empty possession, Drexel had the ball down by two with just over a minute left. After about twenty seconds of failed offense, Amaris Baker got the ball in the corner, drove hard to the basket and connected on a floater to tie the game up at 53. After getting yet another stop on defense, Amy Mallon made no mistake about whose hands she wanted the ball in. Amaris Baker carried the ball up the court with just over 30 seconds left on the clock and after a defensive miscommunication from Delaware, was left alone at the top of the key. Baker seemed almost surprised by how open she was, and after a few moments of hesitation, she let go a deep two pointer that hit nothing but the net

After one final stop from the Dragons and a few made free throws, the final whistle sounded and sent the Dragons on to the next round, and the Delaware Blue Hens packing to the Conference USA. 

As they take on Monmouth, the Dragons will need an equally stingy defensive effort while also receiving offensive contributions from other star players such as Brooke Mullin, Grace O’Neil and perhaps even Laine McGurk. Fans can tune in to FloSports at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15 to see if Drexel can continue their tournament run.