Philadelphia, Pa. - Drexel's Fiona Flanagan hit back-to-back three-pointers as part of second-half comeback that erased a double-digit Hofstra lead as the Pride lost, 59-53, to the Dragons in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Thursday night.
Sophomore guard Andreana Thomas scored all 12 of her points in the opening half and tallied six assists while junior forward Anma Onyeuku contributed 15 points. But Hofstra saw its winning streak snapped at six with the Pride falling to 7-8 and 3-1 in CAA play.
Drexel more than doubled its first-half point total in the final 20 minutes with Taylor Wootton scoring 16 of her 24 points in the second half. Hofstra, which led by as much as 15 overall, couldn't hold the lead in the battle for first place as Drexel improved to 11-4 and 4-0 in league play. Only two teams remain undefeated in CAA play with Delaware (3-0) idle.
Senior forward Shante Evans registered 10 points and seven rebounds but Hofstra lost for the first time in the last four games to the Dragons. Evans has scored in double figures in 14 of 15 games this season. Nicki Jones scored 10 points and finished with six rebounds and five assists for Drexel.
Hofstra, which built a 15-point edge with 5:19 remaining in the first half, though Flanagan turned a five-point deficit into a one-point Drexel advantage in a 35-second span. The junior guard hit a pair of right-corner three-pointers in front of the Drexel bench on back-to-back possessions to put the Dragons ahead, 51-50, with 3:05 left.
Drexel had missed on 15 of its first 17 three-point attempts before Flannigan hit her first three-pointer. When she hit her second one, it represented the first Drexel lead since 2:12 into the contest. Flanagan was one of three Drexel players in double figures (10 points).
Senior Candace Bond's shot rimed out at 1:48 and CAA leading scorer Hollie Mershon hit two free throws for Drexel. With a chance to tie it, junior Annie Payton's long range three-pointer hit the back iron and Drexel rebounded the miss. Wootton made both free throws to give Drexel a cushion.
Hofstra's full-court press and strong perimeter defense held Drexel to 25.9 percent shooting in the opening half and the Pride capitalized on Drexel's foul trouble to build a 31-16 advantage at the break.
Thomas scored in double figures before the break, connecting on two of Hofstra's trio of three-pointers. The Pride also made all eight of their free throw attempts in the period and Onyeuku racked up seven points.
Drexel went down double-digits early in the half after Mershon picked up two quick fouls in the opening five minutes. Mershon, who entered averaging a CAA-leading 18.4 points per game, scored three early points but sat for the final 15 minutes. Mershon compiled nine points and made one field goal.
The contest marked a homecoming for freshman Dee Thomas-Palmer and the Philadelphia native provided a spark off the bench. The former William Penn Charter standout drilled a right-elbow jump shot to make it 27-12, prompting a roar from her family and friends seated behind the Hofstra bench.
Drexel came out strong in the second half hitting seven of its first 11 shots. The Dragons moved to within 37-30 eight minutes in before Hofstra freshman Sydni Epps drilled a right-corner three-pointer to stifle Drexel's momentum.
After Evans was sent to the bench with her third foul 3:49, Onyeuku stepped up, scoring eight points through the first 10 minutes in the second half.
The Dragons moved to within 45-41 on Wotton's jump shot at the 6:20 mark before Payton's put-back made it 47-41.Wooten then hit a jump shot before Drexel made a closing push to get the win.
Before the game, Drexel honored Mershon with a pregame announcement for scoring her 1,000th career point. Hofstra will honor Evans with a similar ceremony before the team's next home game against Old Dominion. Evans broke the program's all-time points record at George Mason on Jan. 13.
Hofstra will next be in action on Sunday when the Pride takes on the Lady Monarchs in a CAA matchup at 2 p.m. from the Mack Sports Complex.