PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3/18/2018 – The Drexel Dragons and the Fordham Rams tussled to the end, but the Dragons could not convert on their last two shots as they fall to the Fordham Rams 63 – 60 at the DAC.
“An unfortunate way to end your season,” said Drexel Coach Denise Dillon. “As competitors it’s tough to walk away calmly from the battle we just faced against Fordham.”
Bre Cavanaugh led all scorers with 32 points making 11 of 19 from the floor and 6 of 12 from beyond the arc. She was a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line. Mary Goulding added 13 points. Bailey Greenberg posted 20 for the Dragons, and Aubree Brown contributed 14 points and 7 assists.
The game was tied at 53 with 2:43 on the clock. Cavanaugh scored the next five Rams points who pulled ahead by 60 – 56 with 54 seconds to play. Brown would post the next four Dragons points getting them to within 61 – 60 with 12.4 seconds showing on the clock. Cavanaugh sank 2 free throws at the 9 second mark. Greenberg hit the front of the rim on a three-pointer. Drexel got the ball back with less than a second to play. A desperation shot by Megan Marecic was off the mark.
In tournament play to advance an edge is needed. The hosts were facing an opponent that was familiar with the Dragons. Fordham plays in the Atlantic 10 conference, and coach Stephanie Gaitley is a Villanova grad and a former Saint Joseph’s coach. The Dragons had an edge early with pressure defense causing 9 Rams turnovers. They had 13 for the game. Fordham adjusted and the Dragons were not as effective as the game went on.
“They did, and we weren’t making the right slides,” Dillon said about the press. “You have to take away the middle, and they were getting the ball there. If was forcing the back line to come up and led to two-on-one’s and some easy buckets.”
Drexel led 26 – 22 at halftime, but Fordham won the third quarter 21 – 12 forcing the hosts to play from behind.
It was the final game for Kelsi Lidge who scored 7 points and handed out 3 assists. She fouled out halfway through the fourth quarter.
G’mrice Davis, a Philadelphian who went to Girard College, had 11 points and 8 rebounds for Fordham. Cavanaugh also pulled down 8 rebounds as the Rams had a 31 – 24 advantage in rebounds.
“You are counting on the team to contain Cavanaugh,” said Dillon. “We did not do that in the zone and when we went man. In the one-on-one she felt that she could do whatever she wanted.”
Drexel concludes their season with 27 – 8 record. Despite the ending Dillon can look back and describe the group positively.
“I am extremely impressed with what we accomplished this season,” Dillon said about how she will remember this team. “Knowing we had a young and inexperienced group. With Megan Marecic, Sara Woods, and Kelsi Lidge coming back, I commended them for the plan and vision they put in place as a whole and got the younger group to really follow. It’s tough now, but if you look back on the entire season and realize it was a 27 win season and a regular season championship, it is extremely impressive, and I give them full credit for leading this young group. I’m hoping the young ones realize the power of perseverance, commitment, and dedication can do.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian