The Drexel University women’s basketball team has been on a roll, extending their current winning streak to seven games, besting the Elon University Phoenix 59-44, Feb. 1, and defeating the College of William & Mary Tribe 62-58, Feb. 3. The Dragons are now 9-0 on the road this season and improved their record to 15-5, with a 7-2 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play.
In North Carolina against Elon, Drexel’s nationally ranked defense was key. The Dragons started off strong, going on an 11-2 run to take the early advantage. Seven of the points on the run were off Elon turnovers.
The run was kicked off by a putback bucket and baseline jumper from junior Niki Metzel. Junior Bailey Greenberg added a three and layup, then sophomore Mariah Leonard capped off the run with a layup. However, a three and a spot-up jumper from Elon sophomore Jaylin Powell cut the lead to 15-9 heading into the second.
Elon came out firing in the second quarter, going on a 13-4 run to take the lead. Sophomore Ariel Colon led the effort for the Phoenix, scoring five points on the run, including the driving layup to put Elon up 22-21. Greenberg led the response effort for the Dragons, scoring six straight points to take the lead back for Drexel.
Drexel would widen the lead in the third quarter, mostly due to strong play down low. The Dragons scored 12 of their 17 points in the paint in the quarter. The domination down low, along with a three from freshman Maura Hendrixson, put the Dragons up 44-36.
In the fourth quarter, the Dragons closed the game out by scoring nine unanswered points to start the period. Sophomore Hannah Nihill dished to Hendrixson who drilled an elbow jumper to put the Dragons up 46-36. Freshman Keishana Washington hit a driving layup and a three from the top of the key. Then Greenberg added another layup to make it 53-36 for the Dragons.
The Phoenix would eventually cut the lead to 11 on a bucket from freshman Brie Perpignan, but they were ultimately unable to take back the lead.
Greenberg was the only Dragon to get into the double digits, scoring 24 of the team’s 59 points, while also adding nine boards. Elon was led by sophomore Emily Maupin with 14 points, with Colon scoring 11 points. Drexel shot 24-55 (43.6 percent) from the floor, including 3-12 (25 percent) from deep. The Phoenix went 17-42 (40.5 percent) on the night, with 3-15 (20 percent) from three.
On Super Bowl Sunday against the College of William & Mary Tribe, it was a much tighter affair. The game opened with a pair of free throws by Greenberg. With those two points, Greenberg became the 25th member of Drexel’s 1000-Point Club.
For the Tribe, the duo of senior Bianca Boggs and freshman Eva Hodgson got things kicked off. Boggs hit a corner three to start scoring for William & Mary. Hodgson then added in four points, capped off by a driving layup by Boggs, to take an 11-6 lead.
But threes by Nihill and Greenberg put the Dragon back within one. Three free throws from Metzel and a driving layup from Greenberg at the buzzer put the Dragons up 17-13.
A high-scoring second quarter started with a William & Mary elbow three from redshirt sophomore Harper Birdsong. The Tribe would take back the lead on a layup by junior Victoria Reynolds, giving William & Mary a 24-23 advantage. But a pair of threes from Greenberg, and another from junior Aubree Brown, put Drexel up 36-30 at the break.
William & Mary narrowed the gap in the third quarter. Freshman Emma Krause hit one from deep, and a driving layup from sophomore Nyla Pollard cut the Drexel lead to one. Birdsong would hit another two triples to close out the quarter, but seven points from Greenberg in the quarter made the score 47-46.
Metzel and Washington came up big for the Dragons in the fourth quarter. Metzel scored three points to open the quarter, pushing the Drexel lead to four. The Tribe would respond with a pair of free throws from Birdsong and a jumper from Boggs, but a pair of threes from Washington made it 58-52 favoring Drexel.
Drexel’s defense was fantastic in the fourth, allowing only two baskets. The Tribe shot 2-15 (13.3 percent) from the floor in the quarter, while going 0-6 from three. William & Mary did find success from the free throw line, however, going 8-10 (80 percent) from the stripe.
A pair of free throws from Hodgson cut the Drexel lead to two with 45 seconds left to play. Metzel was fouled with nine seconds to go and drilled both free throws to push the Drexel lead back up to four. On the ensuing possession, Birdsong went for the three, but was denied by Metzel to end the game.
Greenberg led in scoring again with 24 points, while also posting 11 rebounds. For her efforts, she was named CAA Player of the Week for the second week in a row, and the third time so far this season. Boggs had 17 points for William & Mary to go along with nine boards.
Neither team shot particularly well. Drexel went 23-66 (34.8 percent) overall, with 8-23 (34.8 percent) shooting from beyond the arc. The Tribe shot 19-50 (38.0 percent) from the floor, with a 5-21 (23.8 percent) mark from deep.
The Dragons will return to the Daskalakis Athletic Center this weekend to start a three-game homestand. They will first take on the University of Delaware Blue Hens Feb. 10 at 5 p.m, which will be televised on NBC Sports Philadelphia, followed by Hofstra University Feb. 15 and Northeastern University Feb. 17.