Drexel senior guard Hollie Mershon led all scorers with 24 points as the Dragons defeated Bloomsburg, 67-43, in an exhibition game played on Sunday afternoon at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. Mershon was expected to be the go-to player this year and was recognized as such by being selected to the All-CAA Pre-season First Team. But the real questions looking to be answered when watching an exhibition game are: “How do the new players look?” and “Who from last year’s team will step up this year?” Well, those questions just may have been answered from watching yesterday’s exhibition.
Freshman point guard Meghan Creighton started yesterday’s game and was impressive not only with the way she ran head coach Denise Dillon’s offense, but the way she calmly drained five three-point field goals on only six attempts. Creighton didn’t force her shots; but she found openings within the Dragons’ offense and barely touched the rim on her three-point makes. Creighton’s maturity, ball handling skills and ability to run the offense will make her a big part of Drexel’s success not only this year, but in years to come.
Senior forward Nicki Jones also impressed the crowd with 16 points, four boards, three blocks and five steals. At times last season, Jones seemed tentative when on the floor even though she had the size and talent to make an impact for the Dragons. But this year, as a senior, she seems to have a whole new attitude and yesterday against Bloomsburg, she was very active on the defensive end of the floor and was aggressive on both ends of the floor. If Jones can continue to play with confidence and energy, she could be a huge asset for Drexel this year.
Junior guard Fiona Flanagan scored 11 points yesterday as the starting small forward and seems to be the replacement in the starting lineup for departed senior Kamile Nacickaite. Junior forward Tory Thierolf saw significant time off the bench, scoring four points and grabbing three boards in 25 minutes of action. Senior guard Renee Johnson-Allen played a solid 33 minutes and while she only scored two points, she played her game of hustle and energy grabbing eight rebounds (five offensive) and dished out three assists.
A couple of other Dragon newcomers played good games in limited action. Freshman guard Rachel Pearson did not score, but handed out four assists and seemed to be very comfortable in the Drexel motion offense. 6’4” junior transfer Jamila Thompson may give Drexel some much needed depth in the frontcourt this year. Originally from London, England, Thompson scored two points and grabbed five boards in only nine minutes of action. She is tall, lanky and athletic and can be a big help as both a shot blocker and rebounder this season.
The Dragons open up their season on the road at Providence on November 9th and then come home to the DAC on November 14th to battle city-rival, the Saint Joseph’s Hawks.