After a long week at home to prepare after two consecutive crushing losses to Colonial Athletic Association rivals James Madison University and The College of William & Mary, the Drexel University women’s basketball team is back in the game.
After hitting the road Feb. 15 and traveling to Maryland, the Dragons dismantled an unprepared Towson University Tiger’s team on their own home court.
The win was a balanced effort, with six Dragons contributing significantly to the 66-52 win. Drexel kept their lead consistent, winning the first and second half by seven points a piece, creating the total deficit of 14. At the end of the first period, Drexel held a 27-20 lead on the Tigers.
While the Dragons controlled the game from pretty early in the first half, Towson did not go down without a fight. The Tigers went on an uncontested 11 point run in the second half to jump in front of the Dragons by three points at 43-40 with just over nine minutes left to play.
Following a Drexel timeout with 9:22 to play, the Dragons cleaned up their act. After a three pointer from Rachel Pearson and two free throws from freshman Sara Woods, Drexel took back the lead and maintained it for the rest of the game.
Again, the defense was Drexel’s largest asset against Towson, as they forced the Tigers to 15 turnovers and only committed six themselves.
While regular contributors Pearson and Sarah Curran added significantly in the game with 15 and eight points, respectively, Drexel got amazing contributions from reserve player Alexis Smith.
Smith, a 5-foot-6 sophomore guard from Lusby, Maryland, has been an important contributor in the backcourt during the second half of this season, especially in lieu of Drexel missing point guard Meghan Creighton to a knee injury. In four of the last seven games, Smith has added double digits, and she is one of the top three free throw shooters on the team, making 39 of her 44 attempts this season.
In the game against Towson, Smith dropped 19 to help lead the Dragons pass the Tigers, shooting an impressive 56 percent from the field.
Senior Jackie Schluth also added eight points and eight rebounds for Drexel, and Jamila Thompson grabbed eight boards alongside four assists and eight points to bring the Dragons to their 66-52 win.
The Dragons then traveled to South Carolina where they destroyed the College of Charleston to win their second straight game by a score of 63-52.
Led by strong performances by Schluth and Pearson, the Dragons won an important CAA matchup.
Drexel is currently in the race for the No. 2 spot in CAA women’s basketball standings. Hofstra, who split with the Dragons in regular season, has made a comeback to a record of 9-5 within league play. After their wins at Towson and Charleston, Drexel is 10-4 in the CAA (15-9 overall). The University of Delaware also isn’t far behind, trailing by two games at a league record of 8-6.
Translation? Every game matters at this point for the Dragons if they want to secure a playoff spot. Only five games remain on the schedule for the remainder of the regular season and cinching the next few games will guarantee a spot for the Dragons in the post season.
Drexel’s next matchup is on the road at the University of Delaware Feb. 22 .