Rosseel's Late Heroics Help Drexel Women's Basketball Grind Out 59-56 Win Over Delaware

Philadelphia - With her team trailing by by two in the final minutes of the game, Jasmina Rosseel scored eight straight points to help Drexel (10-4, 2-1) pull out a 59-56 win over its rival Delaware (9-5, 2-1). Rosseel drilled three-pointers on back-to-back possessions then came up with an offensive rebound, drew a foul and knocked down a pair of free throws all in the final three and a half minutes of play. Kamile Nacickaite had her third double-double of the year with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and knocked down a pair of free throws with nine seconds remaining to ice the win. Hollie Mershon scored 11 points and hit a key baseline jumper with 17 seconds left to keep the Dragons' lead out of a single possession's reach for the Blue Hens. Lauren Carra led Delaware with 16 points and Danielle Parker grabbed a team-high nine boards.

In a tight contest that has been typical of the Drexel - Delaware rivalry in recent years, the teams exchanged the lead 10 times. The Dragons trailed 49-45 with 4:10 to play when Taylor Wootton knocked down a layup to start Drexel's run.

Rosseel dribbled her opponent through a screen by Wootton at the top of the arc before stepping back and pulling up for a three-pointer that rattled in to give Drexel a 50-49 lead at the 3:22 mark. On the next trip down the court Wootton again cleared room for Rosseel with a screen, this time on the left wing, and she swished the shot to make it a four-point cushion with 1:55 on the clock.

A put-back layup by Parker on Delaware's end of the court made it a 53-51 game with a minute and a half to go. But Rosseel hustled down a missed 12-footer by Wootton and was tripped by Carra in the process, resulting in a pair of free throws and a 55-51 Drexel lead.

Saint Joseph's transfer Sarah Acker answered with two of her own from the charity stripe for the Hens to halve the lead again.  This time Mershon responded by finding room on the baseline after breaking Delaware's press and knocking down a jumper from 12-feet out. The bucket made it at two-possession game with 17 seconds to play. 

After a long Carra three-point brought Delaware within a point, 57-56 with 10 seconds left, the Blue Hens fouled Nacickaite to stop the clock. The junior guard, who came into the week ranked third in the nation in free-throw shooting, cooly knocked down both shots to seal Drexel's seventh straight win at home.

The Dragons recovered from a poor shooting first half by knocking down 50 percent of their shots from the field and 4-of-6 three-pointers. Delaware outrebounded Drexel 33-28 and also converted 12 offensive boards into 12 second-chance points.

Despite missing their first six shots and taking more than six minutes to get their first field goal, the Blue Hens led 20-18 at the break. Neither team shot better than 27 percent in the low-scoring opening period. Drexel held a 10-1 lead through the first 15 minutes of play but watched Delaware take it away with a 14-4 run capped by a Parker layup at the 5:20 mark.

The Dragons yeilded leads to Delaware on three separate occasions in the second half and led by as much as seven points early minutes of the period.

In her third start at point guard this season, Renee Johnson-Allen led the team with four assists and also knocked down a pair of jumpers for a season-high four points.

Drexel will embark on a two-game road trip this week, facing defending CAA Champion James Madison on Thursday before traveling to William & Mary for a Sunday afternoon game.

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