The Dragons Win the Key Stats in 71 – 46 Victory Over The Explorers
PHILADELPHIA, PA 11/15/2023 –
A local rivalry game at the DAC, and the Drexel Dragons executed their game plan. The Dragons edge in rebounding, defense, and shooting in a 71 – 46 dominant performance over the La Salle Explorers. First year Dragons Laine McGurk and Amaris Baker led the game in scoring getting 20 and 19 points, a career-high for both. Drexel had the edge in shooting 48.3% to 32.8%, outrebounded La Salle 48 – 26, all the things they needed to do. Especially the battle of the boards.
“We always say rebounding ends up being the little battle that wins the war,” said Drexel coach Amy Mallon. “That’s making it difficult for teams, and keeping us in games. The defensive rebounding can really set the tone for us. I’m hoping moving forward when we may be struggling to score that is something that’s going to stay consistent.”
First Year Dragons Laine McGurk and Aramis Bakerl
McGurk scored 20 points making 9 of 12 from the floor and 2 of 4 from beyond the arc. In the fourth quarter she scored 11 of the team’s 17 points, all in succession in nearly four and half minutes. The forward from West Chester drained five of her shots from inside the arc and 1 of 2 from distance in the last ten minutes.
“With the confidence my teammates have in me, no shot looks hard for me,” McGurk said about her offensive performance. I’m just going to shoot. I know they have my back.”
She did so against a familiar rival.
“It especially means more from being around here and playing against teams that you watch growing up. To play here against a team like that, it’s just incredible.”
Baker was good on 8 of 14 field goal attempts and 2 of 6 three-pointers on the way to 19 points. She had 12 on the latter twenty minutes. Baker came to Drexel from Harcum and played her high school basketball at Cardinal O’Hara. It was important for a Philly player to perform well in her new home.
“It means a lot,” said Baker. “There is nothing like home and Drexel is my home now. Just having my teammates and coaches preparing us every single day just to perform and meet our goals means everything.”
Rebounding Set the Tone
In pulling down 48 rebounds in the game Drexel had more boards than La Salle had points, a winning formula. And the rebounding was a team effort as ten of eleven Dragons who played had at least one rebound. The other minimum number was three boards. Forward Chloe Hodges pulled down 7 caroms to lead the team.
“This is the first time I’ve ever given up more rebounds than points in a game,” said La Salle coach Mountain MacGillivray. “Clearly, it wasn’t the Explorers night.”
As a team Drexel made 29 of 60 shots (48.3%) while La Salle was limited to 19 of 58 (32.8%) and converted only 2 of 20 from distance. The Explorers were limited to 8 second quarter points which tilted the game in the direction of the Dragons.
“It’s huge, it sets the tone,” said Mallon. “We talked about taking care of business possession by possession. Amaris alluded to it, this team is committed to that. They know what’s really important for us to be successful.”
Form the La Salle perspective it was they did not play hard enough.
“It was the compete level tonight,” MacGillivray said. “Drexel outcompeted us tonight. I really thought everything I’ve seen from this group, that we were not going to be outcompeted. Maybe Drexel was special tonight.”
Hodges also contributed 14 points for Drexel. The team assisted 24 times on 29 baskets. Hodges, Brooke Mullin, and Momo LaClair had 5 apiece.
“I think the most impressive stat on the sheet is 24 assists to 29 shots made,” Mallon observed. “That shows me the team work on the floor. It’s something we’ve been working on. To see that and have 31 bench points, to be able to do that in a game against a city school we know is always a big rival, and to do what we needed to do on the defensive end was really important for us.”
Guard Nicole Melious headed La Salle in scoring with 10 points. Aryss Macktoon had 6 points and 6 rebounds.
La Salle (2 – 2) is on a three game road trip. They go to Rider next Tuesday.
The 2 – 1 Dragons plays the Saint Joseph’s Hawks at the DAC in another city battle.
Written By: Glenn Papazian