Despite returning home for two games, the Drexel women’s basketball team was swept to fall below .500. Drexel (12-13, 7-5 Colonial Athletic Association) lost to James Madison University and the University of Delaware Feb. 16 and Feb. 18, respectively.
Hosting the first-place Dukes on Sunday, the Dragons were looking for revenge following a 27-point loss last month in Harrisonburg, Va. Returning to their home court following a successful road trip, the Dragons made a game of it late, but the deficit was too much. James Madison used a few big runs to complete the season sweep of Drexel, 69-58.
The game started off tight, but midway through the first half James Madison turned it up offensively while Drexel went cold. The Dukes scored 13 straight points, exploding for a 16-1 run to pull in front, 29-11. The Dragons went nearly nine minutes without scoring a point and more than 10 minutes without a field goal.
Things would get better for Drexel, as the team rallied before halftime to reduce the deficit to single digits. Redshirt junior forward Jamilia Thompson added six quick points off the bench in the post to lead a 13-2 run and get Drexel within seven. It was a 34-26 game going into halftime.
Drexel kept its foot on the pedal coming out of the locker room and inched even closer to the Dukes, who were previously — and remain — undefeated in conference play. The Dragons made it a four-point ballgame after senior guard Fiona Flanagan converted a layup to make it 40-36. It remained tight as the two teams traded baskets until about halfway through the second half after a layup from sophomore guard Carrie Alexander.
From there, it was all downhill for Drexel. The Dukes went on a 22-12 run and the lead swelled to 14; the Dragons never got back in the game. James Madison redshirt sophomore guard Jazmon Gwathmey led all scorers with 16 points. Flanagan led Drexel with 14.
In an attempt to bounce back from the defeat, Drexel hosted Delaware on Tuesday. Again the Dragons came up short, falling to the CAA’s second-best team, 55-50.
The Delaware game was the complete opposite of Sunday’s game in terms of how Drexel lost. Once ahead by ten points, Drexel let this one slip away from a Delaware team they beat on the road less than a month ago.
Delaware had only one field goal through the first eight minutes of the game, and Drexel raced out to a 12-3 lead. Ten minutes into the game, Drexel held a double-digit lead. But the Blue Hens used a 15-4 run to turn the game around and take a 25-24 lead into halftime.
Midway through the second half, sophomore guard Rachel Pearson hit a 3-pointer to give Drexel a four-point lead, 41-37. But from there, Delaware shut down Drexel for more than five minutes offensively and the Blue Hens took a four-point lead.
Brief controversy arose when it appeared a shot from sophomore forward Joy Caracciolo was not released before the shot clock expired. The referees counted the bucket, though, and Delaware had a three-point lead with fewer than three minutes left. Delaware eventually closed out the five-point victory, handing Drexel its third straight home loss.
In the loss, sophomore guard Megan Creighton eclipsed the century mark in career 3-pointers. Her four threes gave her 103 for her career, and, as only a sophomore, has become just the ninth player in Drexel history to reach 100 career threes.
Drexel will look to pull their record back to .500 when the team travels to Northeastern University Feb. 23. The Dragons defeated the Huskies in their previous meeting at the DAC Jan. 26, 55-52. Tipoff on Sunday is scheduled for 2 p.m.