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Women’s basketball heats up as win streak extends to 12 | The Triangle

Women’s basketball heats up as win streak extends to 12

Sophomore Hannah Nihill (12) had 13 points and six steals against Charleston to help the Dragons grab another win to extend the streak Feb. 24 (Photograph courtesy of Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos).

The Drexel University women’s basketball team continues to dominate, extending their season-long winning streak to 12 games after defeating the University of North Carolina Wilmington Seahawks 65-53, Feb. 22 and the College of Charleston Cougars 65-42, Feb. 24.

The pair of wins brings the Dragons current road win streak to 14 games, the longest active streak in the nation. Drexel currently sits second in the Colonial Athletic Association with a record of 12-2 in conference play, behind the James Madison University Dukes.

Against the Seahawks, Drexel was able to take the lead thanks to a high scoring first quarter. Junior Bailey Greenberg kicked the game off with an elbow three. Junior Aubree Brown added another three, then picked a steal and fed it to freshman Keishana Washington for a layup. Greenberg then drilled another triple to give the Dragons an early 12-4 lead. UNCW fought back, most prominently due to five points from junior Ahyiona Vason, but could only cut the Drexel lead to seven heading into the second quarter.

The next two quarters were tight, with each team matching each other. Drexel largely stayed in the game thanks to stout defense and a strong performance from Washington. The Drexel defense forced the Seahawks to shoot poorly. UNCW went 9-31 (29 percent) in the second and third quarters combined, but largely stuck around due to strong post play and free throw shooting.

Washington posted six points in the second quarter, then another five in the third quarter. This along with timely threes from Greenberg and Brown preserved the Drexel lead. The Dragons took a 46-39 lead into the final period.

In the fourth, Washington made another three to put the Dragons up 10. Later in the quarter, a 7-0 UNCW run cut the lead down to just three with two minutes to go. However, the Seahawks couldn’t score another point in the quarter, while the Dragons went on a 9-0 run to close out the game.

Washington was the leading scorer of the game, posting a career-high 21 points. For her efforts, Washington was named CAA Rookie of the Week. Greenberg had a double-double for the Dragons, putting up 14 points and 10 boards. The Seahawks were led by redshirt junior GiGi Smith with 13 points, who had a rough shooting night, going 5-20 (25 percent) from the field.

Drexel shot well on the day, particularly from the three-point line. The squad went 23-50 (46.0 percent) overall, along with 8-18 (44.4 percent) from deep. On the other hand, UNCW struggled, mustering 18-56 (32.1 percent) from the field, while going 4-15 (26.7 percent) from three.

The Dragons had an easier time dispatching the 7-19 Charleston Cougars. After finding themselves down 14-12 after the first quarter, Drexel rallied to take control of the game in the second quarter.

Junior Hannah Nihill was a spark plug once again for the Dragons. She drilled a three to open the second quarter, then added a swipe-and-score to take the lead back for Drexel. Nihill then added another three to make it 21-19 Dragons. From there Greenberg took over, scoring seven straight points for the Dragons to close out the quarter.

In the second half, Drexel took of advantage of Charleston mistakes to widen their lead. The Cougars turned the ball over 16 times in the second half. The Dragons were able to parlay that into 22 points to make the deficit insurmountable for the Cougars.

The Drexel defense held strong to close out the game. Charleston was only able to muster 20 points in the half, shooting a rough 7-25 (28 percent) from the field. Charleston tried to get the threes going to crawl back into the game, but went just 4-16 (25 percent) from beyond the arc in the half. Drexel leads the nation in three-point field goal defense, allowing only an average of 23.1 percent from deep.

Brown, Greenberg and Nihill combined to post 44 of Drexel’s 65 points. Greenberg led the game with 21 points. Greenberg was named CAA Player of the Week for the fourth time this season for her performance over the weekend. Nihill posted 13 points along with six steals. For the Cougars, no one was able to get into double digits, but freshman Arynn Eady led with eight points.

Drexel went 25-54 (46.3 percent) from the field on the day, while struggling from deep on 5-17 (29.4 percent) shooting. Charleston was held to only 17-50 (34 percent) shooting overall, while going 5-22 (22.7 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Dragons will return home for their final homestand this weekend. At the Daskalakis Athletic Center, the team will face off with the College of William & Mary Tribe March 1 at 7 p.m., then take on the Elon University Phoenix March 3 at 2 p.m.

Drexel will go for the season sweep against both of these teams. Neither of these teams have had an impressive season so far. The Tribe are currently 5-9 in the conference, and 12-13 overall. Elon have lost three straight and are 3-11 in the CAA this year, to go along with an 8-17 total mark.