Northeastern falls 69-58 against Drexel

Northeastern falls 69-58 against Drexel
Second-year guard Shannon Todd takes on a defender at the Cabot Center Friday night. / Photo by Alex Melagrano.

By John Hagerty, deputy sports editor

The Northeastern women’s basketball team lost 69-58 to CAA foe Drexel University in front of a packed house at the Cabot Center Friday night.

The Huskies stayed even with the Dragons early on — the teams were deadlocked at 10 after trading baskets and playing at a slow pace in the first quarter. They forced the Dragons into taking contested shots late in the shot clock with their stifling 2-3 zone defense.

The team felt the crowd’s presence throughout the game.

“It was a great crowd. It’s great to see people here,” head coach Kelly Cole said. “It was club sports night plus there were a couple of different youth teams. It makes a huge difference. The atmosphere tonight was something we’re hoping to do more and more often.”

With a recorded attendance of 816, the Huskies had their second biggest crowd of the season thus far.

The game turned sour for the Huskies at the beginning of the second half. Unlike their previous game against the College of Charleston in which the Huskies found their form coming out of halftime, they lost any semblance of momentum in the third quarter against Drexel.

Third-year forward Gabby Giacone looks for an open teammate during their game against Drexel Friday night. / Photo by Alex Melagrano.

The Dragons caught fire, shooting 53 percent from the field in the third quarter, including three  triples. Third-year Drexel guard Eline Maesschalck sunk a haphazard bank shot from three-point range in the midst of an 8-2 Drexel run. The Huskies were out of sorts and everything seemed to be going Drexel’s way.  

Cole attributed Drexel’s offensive output to her squad’s mental lapses and poor execution on the defensive end.

“We made too many mental errors,” Cole said. “We knew what we needed to accomplish, we knew how we wanted to defend them, and unfortunately we didn’t stay close enough to the game plan. We let them score inside, we let them score outside, we let them do what they wanted to do.”

The Dragons completely took the life out of the NU crowd and dictated offensively with ball movement and timely shots. After only eight minutes into the third quarter, the Dragons had widened the margin to 18 points.

The Huskies did their best to claw back and stay in the game, with a strong effort from third-year guard Jess Genco, who played the entire game and finished with a season-high 23 points.  

During the last five minutes, the crowd did their best to reignite the Huskies, trying to infuse energy into a group who had dug themselves quite a hole with their second half performance.  

Third-year guard Jess Genco fires a pass over to teammate Gabby Giacone. / Photo by Alex Melagrano.

A Genco 3-pointer to cut the Dragons’ lead to seven with 35 seconds left was too little too late for the Huskies.

They have a chance to redeem themselves as they finish off their three-game homestand at Cabot Center on Sunday with another in-conference matchup against William and Mary.

“We said to the kids in the locker room ‘we didn’t take care of what we need to tonight, but the good news is tomorrow morning, we wake up first thing and get to try all over again’,” Cole said. “William and Mary is a good team coming in and we match up with them well and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to make the outcome a little more in our favor.”