The Drexel Women’s basketball team returned home after a three game road trip. The DAC has been kind to the Lady Dragons as they are 8 – 0 on their home court posting a 69 – 57 win over Hofstra. Drexel Coach Denise Dillon knows how hard it is to win on the road, so a home win is doubly important.
“It is important,” said Dillon. “You see it across the country how well teams seem to be playing at home. When you get on the road there is a lull and the kids seem to lose a little energy. So as long as you are winning games at home, you can stay in the hunt in conference.”
Neither team could get the offense going early as Drexel held a 4 – 3 lead six and a half minutes into the game. The Dragons had to rely on defense, rebounding, and the scoring of Junior Forwards Kamile Nacickaite and Tyler Hale to take 32 – 20 lead at halftime. Nacickaite scored 17 first half points and Tyler 7. Hofstra shot 28.6% in the half and were out-rebounded 26 – 12. However, Drexel would benefit by slowing the game down against a team like Hofstra who like to play up-tempo averaging 76 points per game.
“We were forcing them to play half-court basketball from the start,” Dillon said. Although we weren’t making shots, they weren’t playing quickly. I was pleased with the slow start knowing that we’d get looks playing at that pace.”
In the second half Hofstra scored the first 9 points to cut the gap to 32 – 29 at the 14:11 mark. The Dragons went ahead 40 – 30, then Senior Guard Jasmina Rosseel took over. Rosseel scored 13 of the next 15 Drexel points lifting her team to a 55 – 37 lead with 7:12 to play. The 18 point gap was the largest lead of the game for Drexel. Rosseel benefitted by advice from Dillon to keep her feet set in shooting position.
“She responded,” said Dillon. “She made that little adjustment, and then she wanted the ball.”
Rosseel led all scorers with a career-high 26 points. Rosseel made 8 of 16 field goal attempts, 4 – 8 from distance. All of her points were scored in the second half. Nacickaite was 7 – 13 scoring 19 points, and she got 8 rebounds. Hofstra made 31% of their field goal attempts as they shot 18 of 58. Drexel kept their rebounding edge finishing with 55 rebounds to 25. Hale had a career-high 15 rebounds, 6 on the offensive glass. Junior Guard Ayana Lee pulled down a career-high in rebounds with 8.
Drexel improves to 12 – 6, and they are 4 – 3 in the conference. The Dragons prepare for a visit from James Madison on January 27. Hofstra is also 12 – 6, 3 – 4 in CAA play.
“We played the way we are capable of playing today,” Dillon said.
Key Run of the Game
Hofstra closed to within 3 points at 32 – 29 with 16:02 left in the game. Drexel went on a 23 – 8 run to take a 55 – 37 lead, their largest of the game, with 7:13 on the clock. The run was keyed by Rosseel who scored 15 of the 23 points, and at one point she scored 13 of 15 straight points for the Dragons.
Key Stat of the Game
Drexel out-rebounded Hofstra 55 – 25. Drexel was credited with 15 offensive rebounds that led to an edge in 2nd Chance Points of 20 – 9. The offensive rebounding kept Hofstra from getting out on the fast break. The Pride had only 6 Fast Break Points for the game.
Key Players in the Game
For Drexel – Jasmina Rosseel with a career-high 26 points making 8 of 16 field goal attempts, and was 4 of 8 from 3-Point land. All of Rosseel’s points came in the 2nd half as she was 0 – 4 in the first half.
For Hofstra – Forward Nicole Capurso with a team-high 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Point Where the Game Was Decided
With 3:01 to play Rosseel made a short baseline jumper and was fouled. Her 3-Point play gave Drexel a 60 – 49 lead.
Thoughts and Musings
It was an interesting boxscore for the Dragons. Kamile Nacickaite had 17 first half points and 19 for the game. Rosseel had 0 first half points and 16 for the game. Drexel continued to play the game as a team. The high scorers did their job, although odd that each had a hot half. The rest of the team filled in the boxscore as complementary players.Tyler Hale had 15 rebounds and 11 points. Ayana Lee grabbed 8 rebounds and scored 4 points. And the team played defense and rebounded the entire game.
A team that will do that is a team. No one or two players worried about getting their shots. Role players doing their job. That is due to coaching. And Denise Dillon has done a masterful job of coaching.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
Link to Boxscore