TOWSON, Md. – Drexel scored 32 points in the paint en route to a 58-53 victory over the Tigers on Sunday afternoon in Colonial Athletic Association play. On Senior Day, it was senior guard Krystal Parnell leading the Tigers (16-12, 7-10 CAA) with 14 points.
“I’m disappointed with the outcome today,” said Coach Joe Mathews. “I thought it was an extremely hard fought game and if you look at the stat sheet it was pretty even. They just made two more baskets then we did and it cost us.”
The two teams battled each other on both ends of the court at the start. Senior guard Krystin Fields’ lay-up at 8:31 tied the game at 14-14, it was the sixth tie of the first half. Fields’ basket jump started an 11-4 run by the home team. The run which was capped by Parnell’s lay-up at 5:33 gave the Tigers a 23-18 advantage. Drexel (15-12, 11-6 CAA) responded by scoring the final seven points of the half to take a 25-23 lead at the break.
Drexel shot 43.5% from the field in the first half while the Tigers shot 36%. Both teams went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes of play. The Tigers held a slim 16-15 edge in the rebounding battle.
The two teams traded baskets early in the second half as the Tigers found themselves trailing 30-27 with 18:01 to play following a bucket from senior guard/forward Deree Fooks. Drexel scored six of the next eight points to take a 36-29 lead with 13:14 to play. Back-to-back baskets from Fields and Parnell made it a 36-33 game with 12:18 to play in the game. The Dragons scored six of the next seven points to take a 42-34 lead with 10:17 to go in the game. The Dragons’ lead would fluctuate between six and eight points over the next five minutes. Trailing 48-40, the Tigers scored eight of the next 12 points to make it a 52-48 game with 2:56 remaining on the clock. The two squads traded baskets before Kamile Nacickaite made one-of-two from the foul line with 26 seconds to play to put the visitors up 55-49. Parnell scored four of the next five points in the game to make it a 56-53 game with 12 seconds left. Hollie Mershon hit a pair of shots from the foul line with five seconds left to seal the 58-53 victory for the Dragons.
Drexel shot 46.2% from the field in the second half and finished the game shooting 44.9%. Towson shot 47.8% in the second half and 41.7% for the game. Both teams shot better then 70% from the foul line in the game and both teams pulled down 32 rebounds.
Parnell added seven rebounds and five assists to go along with her 14 points. Fooks finished with 13 points and two blocked shots while sophomore Tanisha McTiller had 12 points and two steals. Fields led the Tigers on the boards with eight and added eight points.
Nacickaite led all scorers with 18 points and six rebounds while Mershon added 17 points and seven boards for the Dragons. Tyler Hale contributed 13 points for Drexel as well.
Towson, wraps up the regular season when it visits Old Dominion on Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m.