PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/21/2016 – Coming off a close loss to Vanderbilt of the SEC Drexel met #11 Syracuse of the ACC. The Dragons can play with these teams from power conferences, and now they have shown they can beat ranked teams. Guard Meghan Creighton made a three-pointer from the wing with 8 seconds to play to give Drexel a 62 – 61 upset of Syracuse at the DAC. It is the highest ranked team that Drexel has beaten in program history.
“It’s huge,” Drexel Coach Denise Dillon said about the significance of the win. “They are the national runner-up, and it doesn’t get much better than that. They were beating people convincingly. I couldn’t be prouder of our girls and the momentum we want to continue to move forward with it. Everyone is doing everything necessary for the seniors to come out on top.”
There were 18 seconds on the clock when Syracuse guard Alexis Peterson made one of two free throws to put her team ahead 61 – 59. It set up the last Dragon possession that proved to be the game-winner, and marked a career-high 23 points for the senior guard.
“I saw Kelsi Lidge coming down the floor,” Creighton said about the key possession. “If she drove to the basket and my girl helps, I would spot up. That’s what I did. I had the hot hand and I thought I had to take the shot and did. I picked a good day to get my career high.”
The clock still had 8 seconds on it, time for DU to focus on defense.
“We knew she (Peterson) would get the shot off,” Creighton said. “It was a matter of contesting it. We did a good job of running at her and making her take a contested shot.”
Late in the fourth quarter the momentum appeared to be with the Orange. Drexel was held scoreless for 2:34 seconds, missed 5 shots and committed 3 turnovers. Creighton broke the streak with 2 free throws after a Syracuse technical foul that cut the deficit to 57 – 53 with 1:57 left to play. The Dragons ended the game with an 8 – 3 run.
“It’s them fighting together,” Dillon said about the resiliency of the team in the last few minutes. “We got the key stops, and came up with the rebounds.”
The Orange had chances to control the game. However, they went 8 for 18 from the free throw line. Syracuse also committed 13 turnovers that led to a 13 – 5 edge for Drexel in points off turnovers.
“They made they could possible make to win the game,” said Syracuse Coach Quentin Hillsman. “We had ample opportunities to put the game away. They made the plays and got it done.”
Sarah Curran contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds for Drexel. Kelsi Lidge dished out a career-best 6 assists, none more important that the last one to Creighton. She also tied her career-mark with 4 steals. Drexel had 10 for the game.
For Syracuse Brittney Sykes scored a game-high 21 points and Peterson added 14.
The Dragons improve to 3 – 1 on the season, and the team travels to Bucknell for their next game on Sunday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
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