Drexel, outsized and every position on the floor, played tough help defense throughout their opening contest with the Nittany Lions. Penn State, which has six players on the roster over 6’2”, had trouble finding easy looks as Drexel’s zone defense swarmed the ballhandler. The team’s defense played a large role in keeping the game close after one quarter. Drexel managed just eleven points but held Penn State to fifteen.
The Dragons caught fire from the floor in the second quarter and never looked back. Behind a thirty point outburst from Pellechio, Drexel scored twenty-five points in the second, twenty-three in the third, and twenty-four in the four quarter. With the game in the balance, the Dragons held their opponent to just seven fourth quarter points as the lead continued to widen.
Drexel got solid contributions from two freshmen in their first career games, starter Bailey Greenberg finished with eleven points and five rebounds while Aubree Brown chipped in six points in thirteen minutes of action. Preseason first team all-league player Sarah Curran added fourteen points and three assists. The senior forward played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls.
Free throw shooting has long been a strength of Denise Dillon’s team, and the Dragons did not disappoint in this one. Drexel went a perfect twenty-two for twenty-two from the free throw line.
On Sunday, led throughout the game, often holding the Hornets off the scoreboard for long stretches. Drexel surrendered just four points in the second quarter, widening their lead to seventeen points at halftime. It was much of the same after the break, with Drexel outscoring Delaware State eighteen to ten in the third quarter before the teams played even in the final frame with a lot of young players seeing court time.
Curran paced her team with eighteen points, seven assists, and two steals. Greenberg scored in double figures again, netting ten points to go with seven rebounds. Pellechio rounded out the double digit scoring posting ten points of her own with eight rebounds. Point guard Meghan Creighton chipped in with six points and another six assists. A few Dragons saw their first career action, with forward Nicole Metzel making both her shots and scoring six points in nine minutes of play. Guard Ana Ferariu hit her only shot of the day, a three pointer, and added two steals in eight minutes of play.
Denise Dillon has turned to a number of new and returning players to play a larger role on the team this year, and to this point, the team has responded admirably. Drexel’s increased depth, balanced scoring, and tough defense has led to a great start. Looming on the horizon are a few really tough matchups. Drexel heads to take on SEC opponent Vanderbilt (a 74-64 winner over Drexel last season) on Wednesday before returning home to take on the reigning national runner-up, Syracuse, on Monday. The Orange are currently ranked thirteenth in the nation and may very well be the top ranked team to ever visit the DAC. Make sure you come out and help pack the DAC, see you there!