Drexel was led on the scoreboard by now two-time first team all league selection Sarah Curran. Curran, a junior, scored 15.4 points per game and became just the second player in program history to be a two time first team CAA selection. She joins the prestigious company of Gabriela Marginean, the program's all-time leading scorer. Senior sharpshooter Rachel Pearson also averaged in double figures, finishing the regular season with an 11.3 point per game average. Jessica Pellechio, in her first year on the court after transferring from VCU, added 9 points a game. Redshirt junior Meghan Creighton, who currently sits fourth overall in the country in assist to turnover ratio, added 6.8 points and 5.7 assists per game. The Dragons also got solid scoring contributions from sixth year senior Jackie Schluth (5.4) and Alexis Smith (4.7).
Drexel finished seventh in the conference in scoring (60.1 ppg) but used stout defense to finish second overall in the CAA in scoring defense at 55.4 ppg. The Dragons finished sixth in the country in free throw shooting, long a strong suit of Denise Dillon squads, shooting 78% from the charity stripe. Overall, the Dragons shot 39.5%, just a fraction of a point behind league leader William and Mary. Drexel finished comfortably in the lead in three point shooting at 34.6%, good for 40th overall in the nation. As predicted earlier in the year, the Dragons struggled to rebound the ball, finishing last in the conference and over 13 rebounds a game behind league leader JMU. On average, the Dragons are outrebounded by nearly five boards a game.
The Dragons finished second in the conference in assists per game, largely led by Creighton. The junior currently sits at 165 assists on the year, just 20 behind the school single season record. Given her average, she stands a chance of breaking the record held by former teammate Hollie Mershon. Of note, Creighton now has 418 career assists which already places her second all time in program history. She is on pace to break the record late next season. Longtime teammate Rachel Pearson has moved into third all time in total three pointers made while Creighton is sixth overall.
Drexel will begin tournament play at 5pm on Thursday against the winner of the 7/10 matchup Wednesday afternoon between William and Mary and Towson. The Dragons are a combined 4-0 against those teams, winning the first three games by an average of almost exactly 17 points. Drexel blew out Towson in the most recent contest, as mentioned earlier.
Waiting in a potential semifinal matchup is third seeded Hofstra who will meet sixth seeded Northeastern on Thursday evening. The Dragons and Pride split their matchups, with both home teams winning. Drexel won a three point thriller at the DAC in January (side note: every Hofstra game at the DAC is a thriller, it would seem) while Hofstra won by seven on Long Island a few weeks ago.
James Madison, the top seed in the tournament, will take on the winner of the 8/9 game on Wednesday afternoon between the College of Charleston and UNC-Wilmington. A potential semifinal matchup with surging fourth seeded Elon would follow on Friday.
The Dragons absolutely have the talent and depth to not only make a deep run into this year's tournament, but to win it as well. Needless to say, the road to the NCAA Tournament is not an easy one given the talent top to bottom in the conference this year. If Drexel can make it to Friday, they will likely take on a Hofstra team that has played the Dragons about as evenly as you could imagine over the last few years. There is certainly reason for optimism. Drexel is well balanced scoring and has solid depth to overcome potential foul trouble. The Dragons gave James Madison all that they could handle at the DAC last month before ultimately losing by four points. Drexel's unique style of help zone defense frustrated the Dukes and a multitude of other teams this year.
This year's tournament will undoubtedly be an exciting one for the Dragons and overall. If you can make it down to the tournament's last year at the Show Place Arena, the team could surely use your support. Drexel has long enjoyed success in the CAA Tournament and this year should prove no exception. See you in Maryland, go Dragons!