The Drexel University women’s basketball team defeated Rider University in their 2020-2021 season opener. The game took place in Lawrenceville, New Jersey at the Alumni Gymnasium. The Rider University Broncs were looking to get their first win of the season after dropping their season opener to Villanova 70-37.
In the opening minutes of the game, the Broncs were focused and determined to get their first win. The team went on a 10-0 run to start. The Dragons were cold in the first quarter. As a team, they were 0-13 on field goal attempts. Kate Connolly and Maura Hendrixson gave Drexel the confidence needed to end the quarter as they scored all four shots from the free-throw line. At the end of the first quarter, the Broncos had a 13-6 edge.
Eventually, the Dragons woke up. They started the second quarter off with a 14-0 run taking the lead 16-13. Hannah Nihill began her career night, scoring 7 straight points for Drexel. She scored a new career-high 22 points. In addition, she led all scorers for the afternoon. Nihill shined behind the arch making three 3-pointers and also adding three rebounds and three assists to the scoring sheet.
In the second quarter, Drexel shot 60 percent after just shooting 7.1 percent in the first quarter. By halftime, the Dragons led the Broncs 27-23.
To start the second half, both teams were going back and forth until Rider took the lead, 33-31 after an Amanda Mobley 3-pointer. That did not last for long, though, as Nihill and Keishana Washington both knocked down a 3-pointer. Washington finished the game with 12 points and two 3-pointers. Drexel was 44-37 at the end of the third quarter.
During the fourth quarter, the Dragons took a double-digit lead, 47-37 which led to Rider calling a timeout. During the last few minutes of the fourth, the Dragons contained their lead. Drexel could taste a victory to start out the season.
The final would be 62-49, behind Nihill’s career night. Sophomore Hetta Saatman also had a career night securing nine rebounds. Hendrixson and Connolly contributed 7 and 8 points respectively.
It wasn’t just Drexel’s first victory of the season, but also Amy Mallon’s first win as a Division I head coach. Mallon took over the head coaching position for Drexel to start the season. She previously held the Associate Head Coach position from 2007-2020.
Freshman Jasmine Valentine and Erin Sweeney made their college debuts as well. Valentine scored 4 points and grabbed four rebounds in the win.
Amanda Mobley was the leading scorer for Rider, putting up 13 points. Raphaela Toussaint also ended the game in double-digits with 11. Rider ended the game with 23 turnovers to Drexel’s 11.
Up next for Drexel is an away game at Monmouth University on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. Stay tuned.