PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/2/2014 – A layup by Hofstra freshman guard Krystal Luciano broke a tie at 66 and proved to be the winning points as Hofstra Pride downed the Drexel Dragons at the DAC. The Dragons took a 65 – 64 lead with under a minute to play , but the Pride closed out the game scoring 4 of the next 5 points.
Early in the game Hofstra came out strong making 7 of the first 8 field goal attempts to take a 20 – 6 lead five minutes into the game. Drexel responded by going on a 19 – 2 run keyed by sophomore guard Meghan Creighton, who scored 9 of her team-high 18 points in the run, and senior forward Tory Thierolf who scored 5 of her 7 points. However, Drexel could not keep separation and Hofstra came back to tie the game at 34 as the teams headed into the locker room.
“We didn’t come ready to play,” said Drexel Coach Denise Dillon. “That was obvious in the first five minutes giving up 20 points. When we dig ourselves a hole like that, the confidence is shaken a little bit. Everything becomes so much harder on both ends of the floor. We cut that lead and at halftime it’s a whole new ball game.”
The same scenario played out in the second half as the Dragons took a 54 – 49 on a basket by senior forward Fiona Flanagan with just over eight and a half minutes to play. Drexel could not come up with sustained defense as Hofstra fought back to tie the game a minute and a half later on a field goal by guard Annie Payton, who led all scorers with 21 points which tied her career-high.
“In the second half you’re over thinking, there was too much over thinking on both ends of the floor,” Dillon said.
Neither team had more than a three-point lead the rest of the way. Payton gave Hofstra a 66 – 65 lead. Drexel tied the game at 66 on a free throw by senior forward Abby Redick at the 33.1 second mark. Hofstra held the ball until Luciano got the deciding layup. She was fouled on the play, but did not convert the free throw. A last shot by Creighton missed the mark.
Drexel could not get the key stop on defense. Dillon felt the team had effort on defense, but execution was not quite right.
“I was disappointed in the inability to make the adjustment on each play,” Dillon said. “When we made the adjustment we forced them to take a bad shot or took time off the clock. There were too many possessions where we let them put the ball in their right hand and take it to the rim.”
Flanagan scored 12 points for the Dragons, all in the second half. Redick also scored in double figures with 11. For Hofstra guard Kelly Loftus scored 14 points and pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds. The Pride out-rebounded the Dragons 41 – 29. Hofstra was 16 – 19 from the free throw line while Drexel went 15 – 23.
Drexel evens their record at 10 – 10 and are 5 – 2 in the CAA. The Dragons travel to meet the College of Charleston on February 7, 2014. Hofstra is 9 – 10, 4 – 4 in conference.
Written By: Glenn Papazian