PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/16/2017 – The Drexel Dragons opened their home schedule, and did so against a city rival, the La Salle Explorers. Any city game has an air of excitement for both squads. It is added excitement for the host Dragons as they post a 74 – 42 win over the Explorers at the DAC.
“It’s very exciting,” guard Sara Woods said about winning against a local opponent. “It’s always a battle, so to get this win tonight was great.”
For any team it is a good combination of creating turnovers and converting those into points, and sharing the ball creating good shots on offense. That is precisely what Drexel did in the contest.
“The team showed up ready to play and did what needed to be done on both ends of the floor, and played each possession like it was the last,” said Drexel Coach Denise Dillon. “I said to them let’s keep taking the steps forward and show what your capable of on a consistent basis.”
The Dragons forced 28 Explorer turnovers and made those miscues costly. The advantage in points off turnovers favored Drexel by a 41 – 5 margin.
On offense the dragons executed crisply and had 24 assists on their 33 field goals. The ball movement created layups. The points in the paint edge for Drexel was 42 – 26.
“I was pleased that we kept our foot on the gas,” Dillon said. “We continued to get the stops when we needed it. The shots were falling. You don’t see this stat much from us, 42 points in the paint, and they were layups. Everyone is a threat and everyone is an option and we showed that.”
The Dragons had five players score in double figures led by Woods who had a game-high 13 points, a new career-high for the senior guard. Freshman guard Hannah Nihill and sophomore Ana Ferariu had 12 apiece. Forwards Bailey Greenberg and Aubrey Brown contributed 11 points each. For the game Drexel made 33 of 62 (53.2%) from the floor.
The game turned in the Dragons favor in the second quarter. With the game tied at 18 Drexel went on a 19 – 2 run to close out the half holding La Salle without a field goal over the last 5:49 taking a 37 – 20 lead at intermission. The Explorers scored the first two baskets of the second half and appeared to make a run, but the Dragons answered behind a 6 – 0 run later to reestablish control.
“We really bought into team offense,” said senior forward Kelsi Lidge. “Driving, kicking, finding that open person, being able to pass the ball, we played as a team. There were no letdowns.”
La Salle had two players in double figures as forward Shalina Miller scored 12 and Shaquana Edwards had 11 points. Leading scorer Amy Griffin was limited to 9 points.
The Explorers (1 – 2) continue city play as they will host Temple on Wednesday next week at home. The Dragons get their first win of the season, and have a short turnaround hosting Bucknell on Saturday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian