With two nail-bitingly close victories Jan. 29 and Jan. 31, the Drexel University women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to five games and moved into second place in the Colonial Athletic Association standings.
Following a 67-64 win over Hofstra University last Friday and a 47-43 defeat against the University of Delaware last Sunday, the Dragons improved their regular season record to 11-9 and their CAA record to 7-2.
Drexel’s matchup against Hofstra last Friday night at the Daskalakis Center was a thriller. The game was close from wire to wire as neither team took a lead greater than seven points.
The Dragons trailed Hofstra for more than half the game. At the end of the first and second quarters, the Dragons found themselves trailing the Pride by scores of 25-20 and 35-33 respectively.
Fresh off of a win Jan. 25 in which they trailed Northeastern University by 10 points at halftime, Drexel was by no means intimidated by the two-point deficit they faced halfway through their game against Hofstra. Much like they were able to do against the Huskies, the Dragons took control over the Pride during the third quarter.
Drexel outscored Hofstra 19-14 in the third quarter, which gave them a 52-49 lead entering the fourth quarter. A major turning point occurred for Drexel when graduate student Jackie Schluth hit a jump shot with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter. Schluth’s jumper gave the Dragons their first lead in the game since the opening minutes of the first quarter.
When the game entered the fourth quarter, the score remained close. Not only did the Pride tie the score with the Dragons three times in the first 8 minutes of the fourth quarter, but took a 64-63 lead over Drexel with 1:56 remaining in regulation.
After empty offensive possessions for both Drexel and Hofstra, the Drexel had the ball and trailed the pride by one point with 55 seconds left in the game.
With the game on the line, the Dragons put the ball in the hands of junior Sarah Curran, the team’s leader in points, field goal percentage and three-point percentage. Curran pulled up for a jumper in the paint and nailed it, in the process of being fouled, to give the Dragons a 65-64 lead with 38 seconds remaining.
Despite missing a combined three free throws in the final 38 seconds, the Dragons held the Pride scoreless on their three final possessions en route to a 67-64 win.
Junior Meghan Creighton had the largest individual impact on the game. Creighton showed great stamina as she played all 40 minutes for the Dragons, and her 16 points and eight assists were both team highs. She was also very efficient, shooting 4-6 from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line.
Jackie Schluth also had a great game for Drexel. She scored 13 points on six out of seven shooting from the field and led the team with eight rebounds.
Two other Dragons, Curran and junior Jessica Pellechio, were able to score in double figures. Curran and Pellechio piled on 13 and 10 points respectively.
The win over Hofstra made Drexel 6-2 in the CAA and extended the team’s winning streak to four games.
The Dragons used the momentum from their win over Hofstra to get off to a hot start against Delaware last Sunday. With 2:43 remaining in the first quarter, Drexel led Delaware 14-3.
In the first quarter, the Dragons shot 50 percent from the field and outscored the Blue Hens 16-8. Senior Rachel Pearson, who scored 8 points, was a major factor in the Dragons’ early offensive success.
Offensive production dropped off for the Dragons at the beginning of the second quarter. Drexel was scoreless in the first four minutes of the second quarter, and Delaware managed to jump out to a 20-19 lead hallway through the quarter. However, the Dragons finished the second quarter on a high note as they scored nine points in the final 3:05 and took a 28-23 lead into halftime.
Drexel’s offensive struggles returned when the team went a combined zero to eight from the field to start the third quarter. The Dragons did not make a field goal in the second half until junior Alexis Smith made a layup with 2:59 remaining in the third quarter. Drexel scored only nine points against Delaware in the third quarter.
Despite a slumping offense, the Dragons were able to maintain the lead due to the fact that the Blue Hens were also unable to score. Drexel held Delaware to just 10 points in the third quarter. Entering the fourth quarter, Drexel had a 37-33 lead over Delaware.
The fourth quarter was also a low scoring period for both teams. Delaware managed to draw even with Drexel at 43-43 with 3:13 remaining in the game.
Once again, the Dragons looked to Sarah Curran to put deliver with a clutch offensive bucket. Curran answered the call when she converted on a spinning jump shot in the paint with 1:16 left in the game. The Dragons added two points to their total due to late free throws and prevailed with a 47-43 win over the Blue Hens.
With four rebounds, a team high 16 points, and the game winning shot, Sarah Curran was the player of the game for the Dragons. 11 of her 16 points came in the second half, which was pivotal considering the Dragons’ struggles offensively after the first quarter.
Pearson and Pellechio both finished with double-digits in points for the Dragons. Pearson had 13 points while shooting 5-13 from the field and Pellechio had 11 points on 4-11 shooting from the field. Pellechio also made two free throws at the end of the game to ice the game for the Dragons.
Drexel will hit the road week as they wilt travel to North Carolina to play against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.