PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/1/2019 – The last game of the Hawk Classic featured the local schools as the Drexel Dragons played the Saint Joseph’s Hawks. Nothing like a local rivalry to bring out some fans on a cold and rainy Sunday. The Dragons lost their first round game to Buffalo. The Hawks defeated American University on Saturday. Now the city rivals took center stage. Drexel earns a Classic win and a Philly win over Saint Joseph’s 62 – 52 at the Hagan Arena.
“Yesterday was a tough loss for us, and to turn around and play a tough non-conference rival, a city game, I was proud of the girls the way they bounced back,” said Drexel Coach Denise Dillon. “You knew they would be ready, but I was happy with the way we came out and played with more confidence.”
Dragons forward Bailey Greenberg scored a game-high 24 points shooting 10 for 17 from the floor and was 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.
The Dragons took control early and led nearly the entire game. The Hawks scored the first basket at the 9:40 mark. They did not score again until there was 1:06 remaining in the opening quarter. Saint Joe’s trailed 15 – 7 after one. It was mostly due to turnovers as they had 7 in the first quarter. For the game SJU had 16 miscues. Drexel was not much crisper totaling 13. But the Dragons made the Hawks pay for their mistakes getting a 23 – 9 advantage in points off turnovers.
“We went on a stretch where we were scoring and getting stops,” Dillon said. “We turned them over. The defense had to create offense.”
“They capitalized on all of the turnovers,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “That’s been an issue for us, taking care of the ball. We have to be better. We need more floor game.”
Still, the hosts would not go away and remain in proximity. SJU pulled to within 20 – 15 at the 4:35 mark of the second quarter. Drexel answered with a 12 – 3 run to lead by 14 points, and took a 32 – 21 lead into halftime.
The lead would stretch to 21 points in the third quarter. The Hawks chipped away at the deficit getting it to single digits four times in the last quarter. Drexel would get the lead back to double digits each time.
“Saint Joe’s didn’t go away, but we settled,” said Dillon.
Aubree Brown led the Dragons in rebounds and assists getting a game-high 9 and 7 in each category.
“That’s why Aubree Brown plays so many minutes,” Dillon said about Brown. “She knows what needs to be done and she is competitive. She’s going to fight start to finish. She is a big facilitator.”
Saint Joseph’s had two players score in double figures. Gabby Smalls had a team-best 12 points, 9 came in the third quarter. Katie Jekot added 10.
The Dragons improve to 4 – 3, the Hawks fall to 3 – 4. Each team takes home a win in the Classic, something for SJU to build on.
“Any win with a young team, you’re starting to grow and experience and understand success, it’s important,” Griffin said. “It’s harder to win and it’s easier to lose. For a team that is young you have to make sure you are doing the right things. We came out 1 – 1 and we wanted to be 2 and 0.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian