It was an exciting night for fans at the Daskalakis Athletic Center, as the women’s basketball team took on the University of Delaware on Sunday, Jan. 19, at the conclusion of Homecoming Week. In a thrilling overtime game, the Dragons looked to win against their CAA rivals, the Blue Hens. It is no question that the two teams play tough when they face each other. At the DAC there have been three overtime games between the two.
The Dragons just came off an exceptional team win over Hofstra and were looking to continue their three-game win streak against their big-time rival. Drexel almost has a perfect record at home, losing only once to the Pacific Tigers. On the other hand, Delaware was looking to get back in the win column as they suffered a loss from Northeastern.
The 5-11 record of the Blue Hens can be deceiving because they definitely held their own on the road. From the jump, the Hens had a 12-6 lead to start off the game. Bailey Greenberg, Hannah Nihill and Mariah Leonard all scored baskets in the first quarter to get the dragons going. Delaware made a statement in the first. The Blue Hens had two field goals from long range and a total of six field goals. The Hens took a 15-12 lead at the end of the first.
Drexel was determined to get back into the game to start the second. Leading the way were Niki Metzel and Kate Connolly. The Dragons had their first lead of the game as Metzel hit a two-point shot followed by Connolly who buried a three-pointer. The Dragons now had a 21-17 edge. Delaware took a timeout to regroup after the surge by Drexel. The relentless Blue Hens stayed in the game evening it back to 21 apiece, but to end the half the Dragons took a 25-21 advantage going into the locker room.
At the end of the half, senior, Bailey Greenberg dropped eight points, while Kate Connolly had seven points.
At the start of the second half, the Dragons had a 12 point advantage, their largest lead yet, to control the beginning of the half. Once again, the Blue Hens fought back from a deficit and shut the Dragons out on a 12-0 run. Greenberg never gave up during the game and eventually took over. At the end of the third, she made a layup and continued her momentum into the last period. The score going into to fourth was 39-37.
Greenberg showed why she is one of the best. The Dragons had 16 points in the last quarter and Greenberg dropped 10 of the 16. The Hens didn’t go away though, as they took a 44-43 lead. Greenberg made a key three-point play in the fourth to keep the game close. She went on a 7-0 run by herself to give the Dragons a six point lead. Delaware went on a 6-0 run as well to tie the game at 50.
Delaware’s, Nicole Enabosi, was called for a technical foul and Niki Metzel converted on two clutch free throws with 10 seconds left on the clock. The game was now 55-52. As time expired, Delaware’s, Kayla Shaw, hit a three-pointer to send the game into overtime. During the overtime period, Metzel scored the only basket and from there it was a free throw contest. The Dragons outscored the Blue Hens 8-4 in overtime. The final score was 63-59 as the Dragons held off a tough and persistent Delaware team.
Guiding the way was Bailey Greenberg as she scored a game-high 26 points. Kate Connolly added seven points. Hannah Nihill had six points and a notable five assists. Aubree Brown facilitated the ball well with eight assists and she also had six points.
This season, Bailey Greenberg is averaging 19.7 points and is certainly a top prospect for another CAA Player of the Year title, as she won it her junior year. With her 26 point performance, she moved up to number seven in the career points leaderboard. She has 1,563 points total and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Recently, she was honored at the 116 annual Philadelphia Sports Writer Association Banquet. The senior looks to continue her stellar season and help lead her team to a number of different goals.
Drexel will now go on a two-game road trip against Elon on Jan. 24 and William and Mary on Jan. 26. The Dragons will look to continue their home game win streak as they face Towson on Jan. 31 at the DAC.