(Updated 12:05 a.m.) Drexel holds on to beat BG women, 50-47 (3-28-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 21:00
BG's Jillian Halfhill (11) makes a pass to teammate Alexis Rogers (left) while defended by Drexel's Renee Johnson-Allen (left) and Fiona Flanagan (33). (Photo:
Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Hollie Mershon was held to her season average of 19 points by Bowling Green State University’s women’s basketball team Thursday night.
However, it was when Mershon got her points that made the difference as Drexel slipped past Bowling Green, 50-47 in a third-round WNIT game before 1,571 fans at the Stroh Center. The Falcons finish 24-11 while Drexel, 25-10, advances to face Auburn on Saturday. PHOTO GALLERY
Mershon scored Drexel’s final nine points of the game, including four free throws in the final 20.9 seconds of play.
The Falcons had played good defense on Mershon, a 5-foot-11 senior, until the final three minutes.
‘‘Give props to her, she really turned it on in the last five minutes,’’ BG’s Chrissy Steffen said about Mershon. ‘‘She just took over the game.’’
Miriam Justinger, who had the primary assignment on Mershon, said the Drexel senior was able to attack the basket in the late going using the Dragons’ screens.‘‘She has a very good first step and that’s what got her open.’’ Justinger said.
Alexis Rogers’ layup gave BG a 43-41 lead with 4:07 left in the game.
After turnovers by both teams, Mershon scored on a layup and was fouled. She converted the free throw to put her team up 45-44 with 3:10 left to play.
Rogers answered with another layup to give the Falcons their final lead of the game, 45-44, with 2:45 remaining.
Mershon scored on another drive to the basket just 10 seconds later to put the Dragons ahead to stay, 46-45.
Steffen had an open 3-pointer from the left corner with less than 30 seconds remaining that would have given BG a two-point lead, but it was off the mark.
‘‘I felt I had a good look at the end, but I just didn’t make it,’’ Steffen said.
Mershon then made four free throws, around a layup by Justinger, to seal the win.
‘‘She’s a professional player when her time is done. She can score on the block, she can score using the ball screens, she can score at the arc, she can score off the pull-up,’’ BG head coach Jennifer Roos said about Mershon, who played all 40 minutes in the game. ‘‘That’s a kid that wants the ball back at the end of the game ... She was initiating the offense in the last two minutes of the game.’’
The Falcons had one final chance in the last five seconds, but Drexel covered Steffen and Justinger in the corners and Jillian Halfhill had to launch an off-balance shot at the buzzer.
‘‘I knew it would come down to a last possession,’’ said Drexel head coach Denise Dillon.
‘‘We hung with them,’’ Roos said. ‘‘I thought we had our chance to win.’’
In addition to Mershon’s offense, Drexel’s defense made a big difference in the late going.
‘‘Their zone is really good,’’ Roos said. ‘‘They are big and they are wide as well and they are very active.
‘‘They went zone late in the second half and they forced us into shots (with) 10 seconds or less on the shot clock,’’ Roos continued. ‘‘Everybody gets a little nervous when that happens.’’
Steffen said Drexel’s defense slowed the Falcons down, forcing some poor shots in the final seconds of the shot clock.
‘‘Sometimes we were rushed to shoot and we weren’t able to get many offensive rebounds,’’ Steffen said.
Dillon, in her 10th year as Drexel’s head coach, said both teams attempted to control the tempo of the game with defense.
‘‘Defensively, I think we are both solid,’’ Dillon said. ‘‘Offensively it wasn’t either team’s best shooting night, but that kind of happens when you are playing (hard) every possession.
‘‘I knew it would be a possession-type game down the stretch, absolutely,’’ Dillon continued. ‘‘I didn’t think it would be as physical as it was, just with both of our styles. I thought it would be a little bit more controlled.’’

Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 08:37

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