In their 2013-14 season home opener, the Drexel women’s basketball team completed a 17-point comeback against the Friars of Providence College. The Dragons found themselves down by as much as 17 in the first half, but the team received a second-half surge off the bench from freshman Alexis Smith to emerge victorious over Providence 62-52.
Providence headed into the game scoring over 100 points in consecutive games, and early on they showed their scoring prowess. They jumped out of the gate to claim an early 26-9 lead on the Dragons, but then Drexel’s defense clamped down and started to cause problems for Providence. Heading into the half, their 17-point lead was down to eight. Eight minutes into the second half, the Dragons took the lead at 37-35 and never looked back.
Senior Fiona Flanagan was a constant force, defensively grabbing key rebounds when they were necessary and offensively chipping in with 11 points. Sophomore Carrie Alexander had eight points in the game, while fellow sophomore point guard Meghan Creighton had seven points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. However, it was Smith’s performance that made the difference for the Dragons in this game.
Despite Providence’s hot start, the Dragons didn’t falter or sway from what they do best, which is playing defense. The Dragons held Providence to 18 percent shooting in the second half. At that point, the only question was: Could they score enough to pull out the victory? Smith answered that question emphatically by shooting 8-14 from the field and grabbing five rebounds. For her efforts, Smith was named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week.
Following the victory against the Friars, the Dragons’ next opponent was City 6 rival Saint Joseph’s University. The Dragons headed into the game against St. Joe’s after previously losing two straight against their cross-town rival. This time, Drexel could not complete another comeback against the Hawks, as St. Joe’s was able to build and hold a commanding lead and win 70-52.
The Hawks shot 54.2 percent from the field against the Dragons, and leading the way was sophomore forward Sarah Fairbanks, who scored a career-high 21 points. The Dragons had an early 13-12 lead, but an 11-0 run by the Hawks with nine minutes left in the first half proved to seal their fate. Fairbanks scored 13 of the first 17 points from the Hawks, and despite several runs made by the Dragons, they never got within 10.
The Dragons were held to 37 percent shooting on the evening, and Curran led the team with 12 points and seven rebounds. A positive from the game was a strong showing from redshirt junior Jackie Schluth, who gave the Dragons great production on both ends of the court. Schluth finished with nine points and four rebounds. For their next game, Drexel will travel to College Park, Md., Nov. 25 to take on the University of Maryland.