February 14, 2021 –
The Drexel Dragons looked for a chance to get towards the top of the CAA standings with a weekend series against the league leading Blue Hens of Delaware. The Blue Hens won at home on Friday 63 – 60, then took a 66 – 55 win at the DAC. Delaware is 13 – 1 in conference. Drexel came into the game in third place and are now 6 – 4 in the league.
Delaware leads the nation in offensive rebounding averaging 19 per game. They exceeded that number pulling down 23 in this game with Ty Battle getting 8 and Jasmine Dickey getting 4 off the offensive glass. Both players are among the national leaders in that category. Dickey scored 25 points and had 8 total rebounds. Battle recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards.
The result was a huge rebounding edge that gave the Blue Hens 66 shots at the basket. The Dragons mustered 54. It is tough to win when the opposition gets so many more chances.
“Our goal is to cut the offensive boards in half,” said Drexel Coach Amy Mallon. “It’s something they do extremely well. Some where at crucial points where they had three or four in a row. That’s what we have to find a way to fix. That can’t happen. It makes it hard because every possession you have there is more pressure to make that shot because you’re not going to have many opportunities.”
Also hindering the Drexel cause was the number of turnovers with 19 miscues, almost double the team average.
“We tried to make the harder pass sometimes,” Mallon said. “Against a team like Delaware it’s tough to make the simple pass because they’re so athletic and long. We were trying to make the harder pass.”
Adding the number of second chance points and points off turnovers resulted in the Blue Hens having a 39 – 17 edge.
Delaware took control of the game with a 17 – 2 run over the second and third quarter to lead 37 – 25. Dragons guard Keishana Washington broke the run with a 3-pointer and began a streak of 10 consecutive points to get to within a possession. Drexel stayed in proximity, getting to within a possession or two up to the last three minutes, but could not grab the lead. The Blue Hens converted 10 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Washington led the Dragons with a season-high 23 points making 9 of 18 from the field. Hannah Nihill added 14 points after putting up 32 in Newark. Nihill handed out 7 assists. Maura Hendrixson added 6 points on two three-pointers that were the first baskets for Drexel at the start the game and the beginning of the second quarter. Kayla Bacon had a team-high 7 rebounds.
“It was good to see Keishana do what she is capable of doing,” said Mallon. “We’re hoping to build off that.”
“My hope is that we get Washington, Nihill, Hendrixson, and Leonard on the same page one night doing what we know they are capable of doing. We’re moving in that direction.”
The Dragons go on a road trip to play second-place Towson next weekend. They host James Madison University the next. These teams are the top-four in the CAA.
Today was Senior Day. The program honored Nihill and Bacon prior to the game.
Written By: Glenn Papazian