Typical Delaware Versus Drexel Game Comes Down to the Wire, Dragons Take 59-56 Victory
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell. Top right - Lauren Carra led Delaware with 16 points.
Bottom left - Jaquetta May finished 10 points, going 4-4 at the free throw line.
PHILADELPHIA -- The last three meetings between the University of Delaware women's basketball team and the Drexel University Dragons have gone to overtime.
And while Sunday afternoon's game at the Daskalakis Athletic Center did not need extra time to produce a winner, it was still a nail biter, with the Dragons pulling out a 59-56 win over the Blue Hens.
The game featured 10 lead changes, five ties and one last second half-court shot. Sophomore Lauren Carra took a heave from the midline with one and half seconds left in the game, looking for the tie, but the attempt caromed off the front of the rim.
In three meetings last season, the Dragons held a 2-1 advantage, but Delaware won the game that mattered, getting a 67-61 overtime win in the quarterfinals of the CAA tournament and advancing to the semifinals. Despite the set back, the 9-5 Blue Hens hold the advantage in the series 40-23.
The Blue Hens, plagued by miscues in the opening six minutes of the game with three shot clock violations, did not get on the board until Jocelyn Bailey hit the back end of a pair of free throws. The Dragons, now 10-4, opened the contest with a 10-1 run, taking up nearly five minutes.
But Carra canned one of her three treys to tally Delaware’s first field goal of the afternoon. The three-pointer also sparked a 7-0 Delaware run, pulling the Hens to within one point of the Dragons’ 14-13 lead.
Sophomore Danielle Parker came down with a defensive rebound and got the ball up the court to Bailey, who rolled in a layup at 5:20 to give Delaware its first lead of game at 15-14. A pair of free throws from the game’s leading scorer, Kamile Nacickaite put Drexel up 16-15.
The action was knotted at 18 all with two minutes left in the half as Vanessa Kabongo was fouled on a layup, and converted the and-one. Carra hit the back end of a one-and-one free throw to put Delaware up, by one. A Drexel turnover with 25 seconds left gave Delaware one last offensive chance in the first half, which was sealed by another Carra free throw to give Hens a 20-18 halftime lead.
“We were able to go inside,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, whose team tallied 22 points in the paint. “But then we wouldn’t read the reverse side, be patient, and go in on the backside.”
Both squads were nearly even in the first 20 minutes, with Delaware going six of 22 from the field and Drexel hitting seven of their 26 attempts. The Hens led the period on the free throw line, going seven-of-nine and allowed Drexel only two attempts from the line. Nacickaite converted both tries.
The Blue Hens found themselves down 33-27 with 14:39 left in the game, but rallied to put together another double-digit run, this time going 13-2 to take a four-point 39-35 lead. Sophomore Jaquetta May capped the run and gave Delaware it’s biggest lead of the game at 11:09 with an offensive rebound and a layup.
With 8:51 left, the Hens, who slipped to 2-1 in the conference, held a three-point advantage. But the Dragons tied things up for the fourth time as Hollie Mershon canned her only three-point attempt of the game, knotting the score at 40.
May pulled things even yet again with a layup, helping the Hens rebuild their lead to four, 48-44 with 4:31 left. Drexel chipped away at the score before taking a slim one-point 50-49 advantage with just three and half minutes left.
The Dragons worked their way to a four-point lead with 19 seconds left before Carra knocked down another three-pointer to get the Hens to within one, 57-56 with 10 seconds left.
Nacickaite iced the Dragons win and moved Drexel to 2-1 in the conference with two free throws. But the Hens took one last chance on the inbounds, with Carra launching a half court shot just before time expired.
Carra was the Hens’ leading point-getter, going five of 12 from the field, including three of eight from deep to finish with 16 points, while also converting three of her four free throws. May joined Carra in double-digits, tallying 10 points on three-of-nine shooting and hitting all four shots form the charity stripe. Parker led Delaware on the bounds, pulling down nine rebounds and posting six points.
Nacickaite tallied 20 points, followed by Jasmina Rosseel’s 16 points. Rosseel went four of 12 from deep, finishing the day five of 13 from the floor.
The Hens, who will meet Drexel at home on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m., finished the game going 17 of 48 from the field and 19 of 23 from the line. Delaware held the rebounding advantage for the fourth-straight game, snaring 33 caroms and allowing just 28 Drexel rebounds.
The Dragons concluded the contest with 19 field goals on 50 attempts, going six of 21 from beyond the arc. Drexel was nearly automatic from the free throw line, hitting 15 of 17 attempts (88.2 percent). Rosseel and Mershon each went perfect at the stripe, going 2-2 and 4-4, respectively.
“Those are young players,” said Martin, whose team got 32 points from three sophomores. “They have to learn that (to go inside). You can’t just throw it, you have to read the defense. In time, hopefully we get better at reading that (the defense.)”
Delaware will get that chance to learn on Thursday evening when it returns to the Bob Carpenter Center to take on the Tribe of William Mary, which is 1-12 overall and 0-3 in league play. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.Back To Women's Basketball Home Women's Basketball Story Archive