PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/29/2017 – Now starts the serious business as conference play begins, and no better way to start it for the Drexel Dragons playing their CAA arch-rival Delaware Blue Hens at the DAC. This round of the rivalry goes to Drexel who post a 74 – 53 win. The Dragons won the last five straight in this series. Forward Kelsi Lidge led Drexel with 16 points, and Bailey Greenberg added 14. For the home team what matters is the result.
“It is always important (to win) no matter who is coming in,” Lidge said. “No matter who is coming to our home court, we have to get the win.”
The Dragons again relied on defense to get the win. The Blue Hens committed 20 turnovers. While it did not result in a huge differential in points off turnovers (18 – 7), the miscues allowed Drexel to get 11 more shots, 58 – 47. Drexel stole the ball 11 times, Lidge had 5 steals, one shy of her career-high.
“We tried to disrupt their guards from start to finish, take some time off the clock,” said Drexel Coach Denise Dillon. “You had to try every opportunity to limit Enabosi’s touches (Delaware forward Nicole Enabosi), and we did a nice job.”
The Dragons got off to fast start and had a double-digit lead after one quarter. The Blue Hens made a run in the second quarter to pull to within 29 – 22. Drexel answered that with a 6 – 0 run to close the half with a 35 – 22 advantage, holding Delaware with no field goals for the last 5:26 of the quarter. The run lasted nearly nine and a half minutes when Justina Mascaro hit a jumper for the Blue Hens. The 12 – 2 run gave Drexel a 39 – 22 lead midway through the third quarter. The Dragons scored the next 8 in a row to take their largest lead of the game at 47 – 24 with just under four and a half minutes left in the third quarter.
“They went on a drought for a long period of time,” Dillon said. “We were getting the ball, but we weren’t taking advantage. I was never comfortable because we never built enough of a cushion. We said at halftime, if you let up on defense it will flip that quickly. The team stayed on point with what needed to be done.”
“Whenever we bring it in we say ‘next time we are getting a stop and we are going to get a score,” Lidge said. “We set a goal for ourselves. We set a goal for what we want to keep them to.”
Hannah Nihill and Aubree Brown had 5 assists each. Nihill tied her career-high with helps.
Nicole Enabosi was the Blue Hens (7 – 5, 0 – 1) scored a game-high 18 points. Forward Samone DeFreese added 13.
It will be a quick turnaround as Drexel (9 – 4, 1 – 0) will host Hofstra on Sunday.
“This is definitely the way you want to start conference play,” Dillon said. “We had a good practice and the girls carried that on to the court today. The defense puts us in a position to win against a talented team in Delaware.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian