Drexel Falls Short 51 – 49 to Norfolk State
Keishana Washington Jersey Retired Prior to the Game
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/8/2023 –
A different year and the Drexel Dragons lost a lot of experienced players especially on the offensive end of the floor. The team will undergo learning experiences. With the opening game 51 – 49 defeat against the Norfolk State Spartans at the Daskalakis Athletic Center, can this be viewed as a positive, a negative, or both? For Drexel Coach Amy Mallon, the result is a blank page that will be filled in during the season.
“I think this was our first written part of what we are seeing with the team this year,” said Mallon. “I’m happy with some of the things I saw from this group defensively. That is something we will learn from. A lot of players haven’t been in this situation before, and we need to get better at it.”
Last season the end of game situations would be in the hands of players such as Keishana Washington and Maura Hendrixson. The present players will have to use this non-conference part of the season to gain experience and grow into their roles.
“I think our non-conference schedule is really going to challenge us, and it is going to help us prepare for the conference. The only way you get experience is by getting out there and doing,” said Mallon. “This is really our first outing, but I saw some really good things.”
End Game Titled To Norfolk State
With just under five minutes to play the score was tied at 43. Neither team held more than a five-point lead. The shooting percentages stood relatively even. As the clock wound down to just over a minute to play, Drexel turned the ball over on a ten-second violation. Norfolk State guard Anjanae Richardson made a driving layup to tie the game at 47. Dragons guard Amaris Baker answered with 29 seconds left and a 49 – 47 lead. The game would ultimately swing in the Spartans direction when Richardson drained a three-pointer ten seconds later. Drexel would stay within a possession for the rest of the game, but three turnovers would seal their fate.
“Some of the turnovers we had towards the end were really vital,” Mallon said. “Those are things we are going to learn form as we continue to write that blank page with this grouping.”
What the Numbers Say
Baker led the Dragons with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Fellow guard Grace O’Neill added 12 points and 6 rebounds. The local guards led the team in rebounds.
Norfolk State outrebounded Drexel 36 – 29, 17 – 11 on the offensive glass.
Spartans forward Kierra Wheeler scored a game-high 15 points and 9 rebounds. Richardson added 14 points. Niya Fields assisted 7 times.
For the game there were 8 lead changes and 9 ties.
We will see what lessons were learned on Friday when Drexel plays at Delaware State.
Prior to the Game
Drexel retired the jersey of Keishana Washington. She scored 2,363 points in her career, the second most in program history. Washington ranks third at the school in scoring average (16 points per game), and second in field goals made with 883.
When her jersey was raised in the rafters the feeling for the native of Pickering, Ontario described was self described.
“Surreal. I knew it was going to happen. Seeing it up there, a completely different feeling.”
Washington will forever be associated with Drexel, a place she came just to make something positive happen for the team.
“Coming in as a freshman my goal was to make impact,” Washington said. “I wanted to get culture adopted and then just to continue to get better.”
With an eye to the future?
“To Stacy (assistant coach Stacy Weiss), I tell her the story that I wanted my jersey in the rafters.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian