Jan. 16, Drexel blew out William and Mary by 40 points at Kaplan Arena. Thursday, the Tribe (4-14, 1-5 CAA) fell to the Dragons (9-9, 4-1 CAA) once again, this time by a slightly more respectable margin of 66-42.
The Tribe couldn’t carry the momentum it gained from its first Colonial Athletic Association win Sunday against Towson into its second matchup with Drexel.
Unlike its previous game against the Dragons, which saw a tied halftime, the College was hardly ever in contention Thursday.
Falling behind 17-7 eight minutes into the game, the Tribe wouldn’t come closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Drexel held the Tribe to its second lowest scoring performance of the season, allowing just 42 points. The Dragons racked up 10 steals, which accounted for part of the Tribe’s 15 turnovers in the game.
Only two College players hit double figures: Senior center Kaitlyn Mathieu scored 12 points and freshman guard Marlena Tremba added 11 points. Junior forward Kyla Kerstetter, who averages 11.1 points per game, failed to score, shooting 0 of 8 from the field.
A recurring problem for the Tribe this season has been rebounding. The Tribe was once more outrebounded 42-32 by Drexel Thursday. The Dragons rotated in 10 players, wearing down the College’s rotation.
In its first conference win Sunday, the Tribe shot better than 50 percent from beyond the arc, which was instrumental in the victory.
Against Drexel, however, the Tribe was much less successful. Kerstetter missed all four of her three-pointer attempts as part of the Tribe’s 5 of 22 mark from distance.
The Tribe entered halftime down 33-20 after falling down by double digits early. Five minutes into the second half, Tremba hit a three-pointer to narrow the deficit to eight.
Following a Tribe turnover, a transition layup on the other end extended the Dragons’ lead back to double digits, where it would remain for the rest of the game. The transition bucket sparked a 10-0 Drexel run that practically put the game out of contention.
The final 10 minutes were filled with missed Tribe three-pointers. After senior forward Victoria Willems converted a layup with 2:13 left in the contest, the Tribe would not score again.
Drexel held the ball for the final 30 seconds to officially seal the game.
Drexel’s offense was especially efficient with 22 assists to the Tribe’s 13. Drexel guard Rachel Pearson registered 15 points, four rebounds and three assists. Despite the Dragons’ prolific offense, they shot just 4 of 20 from three-point range.
Coming off an encouraging win against Towson and a last-second loss to North Carolina-Wilmington, Thursday’s loss sets back the Tribe’s apparent improvement.
Drexel rose to just a half game behind James Madison for first place in conference standings, while the College is currently tied with Northeastern for last place in the CAA with a record of 1-5.
The Tribe returns to Kaplan Arena Sunday to face the College of Charleston (11-8, 4-2 CAA), which is playing its first season in the CAA after moving from the Southern Conference.
The Cougars won the first meeting between the two teams 101-65 Jan. 12. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.