Drexel Women's Basketball Holds on For 45-43 OT Win vs. Towson

Philadelphia - Jasmina Rosseel drilled a three-pointer with 46 seconds left in overtime to give the Dragons their first lead of the period. Seconds later her teammate, Taylor Wootton, swatted a last-second shot by the Towson to give the Dragons (13-8, 5-5) a 45-43 victory.  Kamile Nacickiate led Drexel with 17 points and knocked down three big free-throws in the extra stanza to bring Drexel from behind in the win. Rosseel finished with 13 points and Tyler Hale grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for the Dragons. Krystal Parnell led Towson (7-14, 1-9) with 17 points.

In a low-scoring defensive struggle that saw both teams shoot just over 30 percent from the floor, Drexel came out on top thanks to a few key plays down the stretch in overtime.

A put-back layup by Dovile Miliauskaite with 1:48 left in overtime gave the Tigers a 43-41 lead. Seconds later, a missed three-pointer by Rosseel resulted in a Towson break the other direction. But as Parnell fed Miliauskaite under the basket, she was called for a travel.
 
With the ball in hand after the turnover, the Dragons set up a play on the left side for Rosseel and Wootton. Rosseel gave the ball to Wootton on the wing then ran off her screen, faking a cut then popping out to spot up from three-point range. Wootton found her with a well-timed pass and Rosseel took care of the rest, knocking down her third three-pointer of the game to put Drexel on top.

After a Parnell turnover on an attempted drive to the basket gave the ball back to Drexel, the Dragons looked to be in good position to hold on for the win. But an errant pass from Wootton resulted in a scramble for a loose ball. Towson's Charmonique Watt dove for the ball on the baseline and hurled it backwards over her head with two hands. The ball descended at the free throw line where a Tiger was the first player to it, but as soon as it came to waist level, Hollie Mershon pounced and made the steal to give Drexel the ball with 11 seconds left.

The Tigers quickly fouled Nacickaite on the inbounds pass and the Lithuanian junior, playing against two compatriots on Towson's roster, knocked down one of two to give Drexel a two-point cushion.

Towson set up a play for Parnell coming out of the timeout. The junior drove the lane to the right side but was stymied by the Dragons defense. She put up a shot from the free throw line with two seconds left, but Wootton was there to block it and collect the ball as time expired on the Drexel win.

While Parnell failed to come up with the shot in overtime, it was her layup with 1.9 seconds left in regulation that knotted the game and kept Towson's hopes alive.

The Dragons appeared to have the contest tied up after a late 7-2 run helped them close a five-point gap at the 4:29 mark and a Nacickaite layup put them on top 39-37 with 26.6 seconds to play. Tyler Hale drew a charging foul on Miliauskaite with 8.9 seconds left, which seemed to be the win-sealing play. But a traveling call against Wootton on the ensuing inbounds play returned the ball to Towson with 8.1 seconds, allowing for Parnell's heroic shot.

The contest was fraught with miscues on both ends of the court. The Dragons turned the ball over 19 times and shot just 22.7 percent in the second half, but their defense never allowed Towson to pull away. The Tigers' largest lead of the game was six points in the first half, and they led by as much as five points in the second period after taking a 22-20 lead into the locker room.

Towson committed 16 turnovers of its own and Drexel turned them into 14 points, which helped keep the Dragons within striking distance. The Tigers led for the majority of the first half after taking the lead three minutes into the game. Drexel's first lead after that came at the 16:22 mark in the second half when Mershon and Nacickaite hit back-to-back three-pointers early in the period.

In her first career start for Drexel, sophomore Hollie Mershon led the team with four assists and three steals to go with three points and eight rebounds.

The win was Drexel's 40th all-time over Towson, which is the most for the Dragons over any opponent. Drexel also improved to 9-1 on the season when playing at home.

The Dragons are back on the road this Sunday when they play another regional rival in the Delaware Blue Hens. The game is set for a 2:00 p.m. tip at the Bob Carpenter Center.