W. basketball wins two out of three in the week | The Triangle

W. basketball wins two out of three in the week

Forward Kelsi Lidge drives against University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Naqiayyah Teague during the Dragons’ Jan. 11 matchup against UNCW. The Dragons won the close contest by a score of 58-53. (Photo Courtesy – Drexeldragons.com)

The Drexel University women’s basketball team has improved to 3-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play (9-6 overall) after picking up both a win versus the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a loss against Hofstra University at home last weekend.

Versus Hofstra, the Dragons had many chances to capture the win but couldn’t seem to fight past the Pride. Despite taking the game to overtime, Drexel fell short one point in a 53-52 loss.

The loss against Hofstra marks the first game that the Dragons have lost at home this season. Drexel struggled to hit shots right from tipoff, scoring only 18 points in the first half, and going 30 percent from the field and zero-for-five from the three-point line.

While Drexel outscored the Pride in the second half by four points, it still wasn’t enough to put them ahead as the game went into overtime, and Drexel was held to just four points in the five minute extra period.

“The game against Hofstra will sit with us until we get them back or continue on the right path with getting some wins,” Head coach Denise Dillon said. “That was a frustrating loss. We weren’t clicking, we weren’t on the same page, [and we] coughed up a game here at home,” she continued.

Despite the loss at home, Dillon, in her 12th season with the Dragons, is optimistic about the team’s performance thus far. “Obviously we look at the record. I’m pleased with where we stand but there’s still plenty of room for growth,” Dillon said.

The Dragons bounced back after the Hofstra game, capturing another tight game Jan. 11 versus UNC Wilmington in a 58-53 win. Key performances came from senior forward Jamila Thompson and sophomore Sarah Curran, who have proven recently, along with contributions from forward Jackie Schluth, that the Dragons have more than just an outside shooting game.

“The biggest thing we’re working on to adjust four games into conference play is that we’re working inside-out. We’re working in the paint [first, and then] to our outside shooting which is so opposite of what Drexel basketball has been in the past,” Dillon explained.

Versus the Seahawks, the inside game was the dominating force for the Dragons, with Curran contributing 16 points and Thompson adding 12 points and 10 rebounds to give her first career double-double. Thirty of the 58 points scored by Drexel came from within the paint.

On the whole, Dillon feels confident in the team’s ability going forward and their overall performance so far. “You put together a tough out of conference schedule to prepare you for conference. We certainly challenged ourselves with some of the teams we faced. We were excited with two big wins against city rivals in [Saint Joseph’s University] and [the University of Pennsylvania] [in December],” she noted.

The Dragons will look to build upon their losses so far, both in conference play and out-of-conference matches.

“The way we looked at it and talked to the team about it, we played some great teams that will certainly prepare us for what we’re seeing now in conference,” Dillon explained.

“We have seen it already and hopefully we have grown from some of those losses and prepared now for what needs to be done to turn it into a win.”

The Dragons took that mindset into their next contest, traveling to the College of William & Mary and taking the Tribe down by a slim margin, 49-46.

They held the lead for most of the night, responding to a 4-0 run to start the game by the Tribe with 6-0 run of their own, and the Dragons would never relinquish the lead.

Incredible games by Jamila Thompson and Rachel Pearson led the Dragons, as Pearson led the game in scoring and Thompson had 5 blocks in the contest and double digit assists and rebounds.

The Dragons will try to keep the momentum going as they play James Madison University Jan. 18.