Evans’ 30 not enough for Dukes
JMU sports: www.jmusports.com
Drexel (1-0, 7-5) edged No. 25/25 James Madison (0-1, 10-1) 68-67 in the opening game of Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball play Sunday afternoon at the Daskalakis Center.
Dragons’ senior Gabriela Marginean scored 14 of her team-high 23 points in the second half. She netted 11 of Drexel’s final 21 points, including four free throws in the final 29.7 seconds.
JMU junior guard Dawn Evans (Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast), who entered the game as the nation’s top scorer (27.7 avg.), led all players with 30 points.
In a first half that had four ties and five lead changes, Drexel finished the period with a 9-0 scoring run to take a 37-34 lead into intermission. Taylor Wooton started it off with one-handed runner in the lane at 2:05, then Marisa Crane connected on both ends of a 1+1 free throw at 1:40. With 48 seconds left Jasmina Rosseel hit a three-pointer as the shot clock was winding down, and Crane finished it off with a layup with eight seconds to go,
The Dragons maintained their lead throughout the second half and were up by as many as nine points, 62-53, with 4:33 to play.
But JMU scored the game’s next seven points, starting with a free throw by junior center Jalissa Taylor (Chesterfield, Va./L.C. Bird) at 3:28. Evans drained a three-pointer at 2:35 to cut the margin to 62-57. Drexel then missed five shots on its end of the floor, getting possession on the rebound after each shot until JMU sophomore forward Kiara Francisco (Lakeland, Fla./Winter Haven) grabbed a rebound with 1:03 to play. Then Evans was fouled on a three-point attempt with 48.9 seconds to go and converted all three foul shots to get the Dukes within two, 62-60.
With 29.7 seconds on the clock Marginean was fouled and connected on two free throws to boost the Dragons’ lead to 64-60.
JMU redshirt senior guard Sarah Williams (Wilmington, Del./Ursuline Academy) hit a 14-foot jumper with 20.1 seconds to go to again get the Dukes within two, 64-62.
With the Dukes forced to foul in an attempt to regain possession, Marginean again stepped to the line and hit two free throws with 18 seconds remaining, upping the Dragons’ advantage to 66-62.
Dukes’ freshman guard Tarik Hislop (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) scored on a putback with 4.7 seconds left, cutting the Drexel lead to 66-64.
Crane was fouled and gave the Dragons a four-point cushion (68-64) when she converted both foul shots with 3.7 seconds on the clock.
JMU’s final points came on a long three-pointer by Evans that swished through the net at the buzzer.
Evans was joined in double figures by Williams, who finished with 11 points. Taylor had a game-high and career-high 14 rebounds.
Other Drexel players scoring in double figures included Wootton and Rosseel with 11 apiece.