Drexel Defeats Delaware 70 – 62 in Battle of CAA Unbeatens
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/23/2022 –
The Drexel Dragons women’s basketball team came into the week tied for the top spot in the CAA with the Towson Tigers and the Delaware Blue Hens. And those were the teams that would come into the DAC over the week. Drexel topped Towson 54 – 50 on Tuesday. Hosting the Blue Hens on Homecoming Day the Dragons emerged victorious 70 – 62. With the win the Drexel takes sole possession of first place in the Colonial Athletic Conference. A big week for the Dragons who were ready for the task.
“It’s so meaningful,” said Drexel guard Hannah Nihill. “After last season beating them (Delaware) in the championship and us both being undefeated in the league, we prepared so hard each day this week. Our coaches do a great job making sure that we are ready for every game we play. I felt especially ready for this game.”
Drexel is on an 11-game winning streak which is currently the second longest in Division I trailing only South Dakota at 13 games. The Dragons are 6 – 0 in conference, and a source of pride.
“I’m really proud of this group as a whole,” said Drexel Coach Amy Mallon. “We say all 14 Dragons on the same page. We talk about the pieces of the puzzle coming together and you’re continuing to see that. We said we may not have it all together, but together we have it all. That’s how I feel about this team.”
In key games the leaders need to play important roles. Drexel got that with guard Hannah Nihill scoring 22 points and handed out a season-high and career-high tying 9 assists. Fellow guard Keishana Washington added 21 points. Tessa Brugler contributed 16 points. All of the players are on the graduate level. Experience counts. The same can be said for Delaware as leading scorers Jasmine Dickey posted a team-high 19 points. Forward Ty Battle put up 13 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Tyi Skinner accounted for 17 points.
A highly anticipated game saw the teams trade the lead 12 times and five times were even.
Drexel had a the better of the game early, and went into halftime leading 38 – 34. Nineteen seconds into the third quarter it became a one possession game. That lasted the entire third quarter. The game entered the final ten minutes even at 52. Nihill scored 10 of the 14 points scored by the Dragons who had to be focused.
“We felt like it would be back and forth,” Mallon said. “It was the kind of game it was going to be, and you had to take care if it one possession at a time. We made sure we were locked in, took care of the ball and the people who got the shots are the ones who should be taking them.”
In the fourth quarter it was Washington doing the scoring as she put up 11 points in the final stanza, and keyed a 13 – 5 run giving Drexel control of the game. Fast breaks were the Dragons friend as the team got out to a 20 – 6 edge in points off the break.
“To play your rival team like Delaware and know what kind of battle it was going to be, it was everything we thought it would be as a team,” Mallon said. “And it was a reminder to our team that anything is possible when everyone is on the same page. Hannah led the way with 9 assists. These are the moments she is built for. She really carried the team. We go how our leader goes and she was spectacular tonight.”
The Blue Hens won the boards getting 39 caroms to 32 which led to a 21 – 7 advantage in second chance points.
Delaware (10 – 5, 4 – 1) has a quick turnaround and play at UNCW on Wednesday.
Drexel goes back on the road after the four-game homestand visiting Elon and William & Mary over the weekend. The Dragons need to be ready again.
“To us there is no top team, every team that plays us gives it their best shot,” Nihill said. “We’ll take no one lightly and keep doing what we are doing.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian