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Struggles continue for women's basketball against Drexel

Struggles continue for women's basketball against Drexel

The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play struggles continued for the Hofstra Pride women’s basketball team as they fell at home to the Drexel University Dragons 61-49 on Sunday, Jan. 20. 

While E’Lexus Davis led the Pride in scoring with 11 points, their late fourth quarter surge wasn’t enough to overcome a slow start for the Pride.

“I felt that they pushed us up out of the offense a little bit, and we were playing a little bit too timid,” said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. “We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board.” 

The Pride (6-12, 0-6) utilized a new starting lineup, including two players, Petja Krupenko and Sandra Karsten, who are not typically in the lineup. Part of this lineup change was due to Sica Cuzic being unavailable, missing her fourth game in a row because of an undisclosed issue. The change in the lineup mixed with the tough defense from Drexel gave Hofstra problems in the early going. Hofstra shot just 31.8 percent and turned the ball over 10 times in the first half. 

“You could tell that [Drexel] plays team defense. We could’ve done more with attacking and going inside ... Their defense was pretty good,” Davis said.

Part of the strategy Hofstra used on defense was to disrupt Drexel’s junior forward Bailey Greenberg, who was coming off a 26-point outing in a win against Northeastern University. It worked for the most part, as despite leading her team in scoring, Greenberg was only able to score 13 points on 4-11 shooting. Hofstra’s defense kept it close in the first quarter, as in total, they kept Drexel to 11 points on 38.5 shooting.

However, Drexel was able to generate eight points off of turnovers in the first half, which allowed them to get into a rhythm on offense, leading to 19 second quarter points on 41.2 percent shooting. This, combined with the continued struggles for Hofstra on offense, led to Drexel building a 14-point lead at the half. 

The second half proved better for the Pride offense, due in large part to Boogie Brozoski finding her shot. After being held scoreless in the first half, she scored eight points in the second half, including five in the third quarter. The Pride shot 50 percent in the second half, including 40 percent from the three-point line. They outscored the Dragons 19-13 in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit down to as low as 10.

“We didn’t quit, and we’re not going to quit,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “I don’t care where we’re going. We’re going to play [teams] that are going to keep playing hard until the end.” 

Despite Hofstra’s improvement on the offensive end in the second half, Drexel continued their strong play, shooting 45.8 percent in the half, including 50 percent from three. This meant that Drexel was able to bend but not break and keep a comfortable lead despite the late-game Pride surge.

One of the positives from the first half for the Pride was the play of Karsten. She had one of her best games of the season, recording a season-high seven points and making her only three-pointer. She shot 60 percent from the field in the first half as she, Davis and JaKayla Brown accounted for all of the Pride’s field goals in the first half. 

The loss marked Hofstra’s sixth straight – a skid that began with the opener in CAA conference play.

“We’re struggling ... [but] if we can take care of the next step, piece-by-piece, and string a couple wins together, we’re going to go, ‘OK, [we] can’t go back, but let’s just continue to go forward,’” Kilburn-Steveskey said.

The Pride has a week-long break until their next game, not playing until Sunday, Jan. 27, when they take on the Northeastern Huskies at home. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m.

Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics

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