NEWARK, Del. — The month of January has not been kind to the University of Delaware women’s basketball team.
The Blue Hens fell to 0-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, ending their seven-game homestand with a 57-40 loss to Drexel on Sunday. Both teams entered the contest looking for their first conference win.
“I’m just disappointed,” Delaware head coach Natasha Adair said. “We had another opportunity at home, and it’s so important to protect homecourt, especially in league play.”
After posting a 19.2 shooting percentage — worst mark in the program’s history — in Friday’s loss to Towson, Delaware (5-10, 0-3 CAA) once again struggled to get the ball through the hoop against the Dragons. It finished 17-of-56 (30.4 percent) from the floor. The Blue Hens haven’t shot above 40 percent since Dec. 18.
Junior guard Bailey Kargo scored a team-high 12 points off the bench for Delaware, with all of her points coming in the second half. Makeda Nicholas posted a game-high 11 rebounds. The Blue Hens out-rebounded Drexel (9-5, 1-2) 42-37, but saw several second- and third-chance opportunities bounce off the backboard and rim.
“That’s not going to win you a lot of ballgames, especially when you only go to the free-throw line six times,” Adair said. “This isn’t anything in the locker room that we put a blinder on — that we’re in a shooting slump, or we’re not scoring the traditional way. We have to assume the miss and get those second and third opportunities. We saw that in spurts today, but we didn’t see it for 40 minutes.”
Delaware scored just 12 points in the first half, with six of them coming in the first 3:35 of the game. The Blue Hens had an early 6-2 lead, but the Dragons closed the first quarter with a 9-2 run to stay in front for good.
Both teams shot poorly in the second quarter, but Delaware committed seven turnovers and Drexel went 6-for-8 from the foul line and took a 21-12 lead at the half.
The Dragons scored the first six points of the third quarter to go up 27-12, a margin they more or less maintained through the rest of the game. Every time the Blue Hens tried to close the gap, Drexel would hit a timely 3-pointer. It knocked down three straight at one point at the end of the third and start of the fourth after Delaware pulled within 10, 35-25.
“We pressed a little bit and on the back side, they dotted us,” Adair said. You’re trading twos for threes, and that’s hard to recover from for any team.”
Maura Hendrixson did most of the damage behind the arc for the Dragons, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 16 points. She also had five steals. Aubree Brown notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.
The Blue Hens hit the road for the first time in more than a month, with visits to Hofstra on Friday and Northeastern next Sunday, and will try and find an answer to their offensive woes.
“Adversity is going to reveal who you are,” Adair said. “This is a team that’s going to compete, that’s going to rally and that’s going to figure it out. We’re executing into a lot of the shots that we want. It’s not fun, it’s not comfortable for them right now, but as a unit we’re still ready to fight.”