At the beginning of the Drexel University women’s basketball matchup against Princeton University Nov. 19, it looked like the Dragons would be able to run away with a win and a 2-0 start to their season. And then it didn’t anymore.
The Dragons stormed out to a 9-2 and then a 13-6 lead early in the first, but that wouldn’t last.
Some defensive lapses and stagnant offensive play allowed the Tigers to claw their way back into it, tying the game at 15. From there, the Dragons were outscored 15-7 and Princeton took a 30-22 lead into halftime.
Notably from the first half, the Dragons were hanging in the game mostly on the performance of junior guard Rachel Pearson. She was 4-7 in the half, including shooting 2-4 from three for 10 total points in the half.
Another junior guard would have a less favorable time against the Tiger defense.
Meghan Creighton finished the half 0-2 with zero points and an assist. Creighton struggled to get going against the strong Princeton defense and it showed in the fact that she struggled to even get shots up, let alone make them.
Meanwhile, sophomore forward Sarah Curran, usually a dependable source of points for the team, was held scoreless in the half, missing all five of her shots.
Curran and Creighton are a huge part of the offense for this team, a team trying to replace the offense generated by graduate Fiona Flanagan, and even with a big showing from Pearson, a bad first half by those two tanked the team’s chances in this game.
The start of the second half followed along the lines of the end of the first half.
Princeton came out of the locker room in form, going on an 8-2 run, making the lead 38-24.
From there, the floodgates opened.
The Tigers’ lead was never in jeopardy, and they led by as many as 20 points in the second half.
In the second half, Curran managed to get on the board, but Pearson and the rest of the team went completely cold to the tune of a nearly 30 percent shooting percentage in the half, including 18.2 percent from three.
The Dragons lost the game by 16, with a final score of 59-43.
The story of the game was Princeton’s interior defense against the quick guards for the Dragons. They were able to fully contain the Drexel offense and it mostly showed in the second half. They forced 12 turnovers in the second half alone and 21 total in the game.
Princeton also absolutely dominated on the boards, with 43 to the Dragons’ 29. Of those, the Tigers managed to scoop up 17 very important offensive rebounds, more than double the amount that Drexel grabbed.
Offensive rebounds are an especially important figure to work towards, as they give the offense another chance where otherwise the possession would have ended. Princeton doubled the Drexel output on the boards, and it cost the Dragons big time.
For the team, this loss doesn’t mean very much. Games don’t matter until conference play starts and Princeton is very good, sitting at a 3-0 record right now.
Going forward, it’s going to be important to see how the team responds. They need to make sure they don’t get into a habit of turning the ball over and can handle tough defenses, because they’ll be facing them throughout conference play.
Their next game will be a good indicator of the track the Dragons will be on offensively, and it will be important to get Curran going early if they want to succeed.
The Dragons will be back at home looking to get back on track Nov. 22 against Colgate University at 2 p.m.