Drexel Are 11 – 2 After a Win Over Feisty Northeastern
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/14/2022 –
The Drexel Dragons hard fought victory over the Northeastern Huskies 63 – 50 at the DAC is their 15th straight over Northeastern. But the real significance of the victory is it set the program record for the best start in women’s basketball.
The players realize they have accomplished something no other team has done before. It had meaning to long time Dragons like graduate guard Hannah Nihill who scored 17 points. And is a first step along this season’s journey.
“It means a lot,” said Nihill. “We work really hard all season and now conference play starting up, we all know what we need to do going forward.”
The new player contributed as graduate transfer Tessa Brugler posted her 8th double-double of the season getting a season-high tying 19 points and 10 rebounds. It is gratifying for Brugler to join a team that set this mark.
“It feels good to know I am a part of something and helping this team to make history,” Brugler said. “I wanted to make an impact on the team coming in here and I think that’s what I am doing. They are helping me and I am helping them, so I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Experience matters, and in this frenetic game Drexel needed to call on being in this situation many times previously.
“It means a lot, especially at the end,” Nihill said. “I feel like we’ve been here before after the years, and set the tone for the end of the game.”
The Dragons did not trail in the game, and there was one tie, at 10 each. But Drexel could not shake Northeastern who stayed in contention. With just under five and a half minutes remaining and the Dragons leading by 55 – 47, Nihill drained a three-pointer to give her team some breathing room. Ironically, it was the last basket Drexel would score, but would put the game away at the foul line. Nihill hit 6 of 8 free throws in scoring 9 straight Dragons points. Brugler ended the scoring with 2 free throws to stretch the lead. Defense was a factor as Northeastern did not score over the last three minutes of the game.
“That was huge, and if you watch Hannah Nihill play you know she is capable of doing that,” said Drexel Coach Amy Mallon. “Those are plays she is capable of doing and I wasn’t surprised when it went in and see her step up. She knew she had to and that’s what Hannah Nihill does. She finds ways for your team to win.”
Northeastern falls to 8 – 5 overall and 2 – 1 in the CAA. Guard Claudia Soriano put in a game and season-high 20 points. Katie May, a graduate of Archbishop Wood, added 11 points.
Kate Connolly was a demon defensively getting a season-best 4 steals. Those at the end kept the Huskies at bay.
Drexel goes to 3 – 0 in conference. They host the Hofstra Pride on Sunday. Mallon expects every CAA game to be a battle.
“Tonight’s game is indicative of what it’s like in CAA play every night,” Mallon said. “Every team that comes in here and every team we go to play, there is a target on our back. They are going to give us their best shot. Northeastern came in and gave it a great shot. We got knocked down a couple of times, but we came back. That goes to show the leadership on our team being able to sustain, keep our composure, and do the things we need to do to make sure that we were successful.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian