PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/24/2017 – The Drexel Dragons and James Madison Dukes met in a game of significance. Drexel clinched the third seed in the upcoming CAA Tournament, and James Madison holds the top spot. They cold meet again. But in this game Drexel fell behind early and despite a rally could not overcome JMU falling 74 – 64 at the DAC on Senior Night. The Dragons could not get going early, something you can not do against a team of James Madison’s caliber.
“It was a disappointing start,” said Drexel Coach Denise Dillon. “You would think with all the excitement the girls would come out ready to battle. I don’t know what it was. We were sluggish, missed a couple of shots early and that affected us on the defensive end. We tried to climb back the rest of the way, but it was an uphill battle.”
After one JMU lead 18 – 6. Drexel made only 2 of 14 shots. The Dukes were 6 of 9. The lead would grow to as many as 21 points with JMU leading 36 – 15. However, the Dragons got it going and closed the second quarter with an 11 – 4 run to cut the lead to 38 – 26 at halftime.
The Dragons stayed in contention winning the 3rd quarter 19 – 18.
In the 4th the rally started. The Dragons scored 9 of the first 10 points to cut the deficit to 57 – 54 with just over six and a half minutes to play. JMU pushed the lead back out to 8, but another charge keyed by Dragons forward Kelsi Lidge and Sara Woods made it 64 – 60 Dukes with 1:20 remaining. After a timeout JMU got a dagger three-pointer from Precious Hall, who had a game-high 24 points, to extend the lead to 7 points. The Dukes made 7 of 10 free throws to close it out.
“We were getting open shots, so you settle in and knock them down,” Dillon said about how the team came back. “Now, you can rebound the ball, and play better defense. We turned up the intensity, but it can’t work that way. It has to be dictating from the beginning.”
JMU forward Amber Porter scored 15 points to help her team to a 28 – 16 edge in points in the paint. As a team James Madison went 24 – 55 (43.6%) and were 7 of 26 from three-point land.
The Dragons got a team-high 14 points from senior forward Sarah Curran. Front court players Lidge had 12 counters to tie her career-best, and Woods had 11, a career-high. Bailey Greenberg also contributed 11 points.
“Our post players scored on the attack,” said Dillon. “We got offensive rebounds. Our guards did not score the ball today.”
As a team the Dragons shot 18 of 53 (34%) and made 6 of 20 from beyond the arc.
Each team has more regular season games awaiting. Drexel (20 – 7, 11 – 5) goes to Hofstra before going to William & Mary. James Madison (21 – 6, 14 – 2) hosts William & Mary. With a win the Dukes will get the number one seed in the CAA Tournament.
Tonight was the final regular season home game for Drexel Seniors Sarah Curran, Meghan Creighton, and Jessica Pellechio. This class featured three 1,000-point scorers for the program. More to come.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
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