“It was the turning point,” said Dillon. “Defense was the answer. We switched on everything which forced our girls to communicate, and you find yourself in the right position.”
The Dragons used a similar run early in the game to take a 38-26 halftime lead. La Salle kept chipping away at the lead primarily behind the shooting of Junior guard Alexis Scott who had a career-high 33 points, 19 in the second half. The Drexel lead shrunk to a single point 44 – 43 with 13:39 to play. Scott made a three at the 9:40 mark to cut the deficit to 48 – 46. Drexel answered by going inside primarily to Junior forward Taylor Wootton who scored 6 of her career-high 20 points during the run. Senior forward Kamile Nacickaite also added 6 points during that time frame that put Drexel in front 64 – 50 with 1:49 left in the game. Scott put in the only field goal for La Salle in that stretch.
“We’ve been asking her (Wootton) to step into the role of taking more shots,” Dillon said about her forward. “Taylor had a size advantage and got shots around the basket. We don’t usually score around the basket. Taylor and Kamile (Nacickaite) did a nice job for us.”
“They took us to the basket, and we didn’t defend when we needed to defend,” said La Salle Coach Jeff Williams. Drexel made plays and we didn’t.”
Scott led all scorers as she converted 15 of 23 field goal attempts and made 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. Junior guard Brittany Wilson scored 11 for the Explorers.
“She carried us,” Williams said about the performance of Scott. “She is a big-time shooter, and we’re glad to see her back on track. She got a little tired carrying her teammates.”
Drexel had two other double-digit scorers as Nacickaite added 18 points 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Junior guard Hollie Mershon scored 13 points while grabbing a career-high tying 9 rebounds and dishing out a game and career-high 6 assists. Drexel limited La Salle to 45.5% shooting while making 52.7% of their field goal attempts. The Dragons inside strength was shown with their 38 – 20 advantage in points in the paint. The 29 field goals the Dragons scored 19 came from assists. Dillon believes such efficient play is what the team needs to do.
“It’s how we’re styled,” said Dillon. “If your willing to make passes it works. If you try to be individual, we’re in trouble.”
Drexel improves to 5 – 3 on the season playing their first home game in over a month. They meet Penn at the Palestra on December 22 in their next contest. La Salle drops to 3 – 8. They take to the floor on December 22 hosting Fairfield.
Written By: Glenn Papazian