April 05, 2020

Dragons upset Blodgett, Black Bears> Drexel hands Maine first loss in America East

PHILADELPHIA – The Drexel Dragons spoiled the return of Cindy Blodgett, dominated the rebounding game, and used an effective half-court zone defense to upset the University of Maine Black Bears 69-64 in women’s basketball action Thursday night.

Senior standout Blodgett, who had missed the past four games due to a foot injury, scored 23 points while notching five assists and grabbing three rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Blodgett scored 17 points in the first half, but was held to a 1-for-8 effort from the field in the second half and six points.

“She played hard and did a great job under the circumstances. I maybe overplayed her given her injury and her first game back,” Maine coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie said.

It was Drexel’s first victory over Maine since the 1993-94 season as the Bears hold a 16-2 series edge over the Dragons.

Maine had won 16 straight America East games dating back to last season when it was upset by Hartord on Jan. 30. The league-leading Bears are now 11-3 overall and 7-1 in America East while Drexel is 8-8 and 5-4.

The Dragons outrebounded the Bears 46-31 and grabbed 14 on the offensive end.

“The had six more offensive rebounds than we did. It was a tough game. They really went after the game and we weren’t as sharp on the rebounding end,” Palombo said.

The Dragons limited Maine’s inside game as the Bears were unable to work the ball to 6-foot-4 sophomore center Jamie Cassidy, who was held to 12 points. She was averaging 20.4 points per game and averaged 24.3 ppg in the four contests Blodgett missed.

Palombo said the Bears could have been more patient on offense to help get Cassidy more shots. She was 4-of-11 from the field while the Bears struggled from the perimeter, hitting only 2-of-18 3-pointers. Blodgett was 2-for-10 from 3-point land.

“Drexel played a nice zone in the half-court. They tried to take away our passing lanes and we didn’t attack as sharply as we could have,” Palombo said.

Drexel held Maine to a 37 percent effort from the field.

The game featured 10 lead changes with the Dragons going on a 10-4 run at the start of the second half to turn around a six-point deficit and tie it at 40 six minutes into the second.

The Dragons surged to a 65-57 edge with 2:17 left after they outscored the Bears 8-2 over a 2:30 span. Maine cut it to 64-62 with 1:03 left when Blodgett hit an 8-footer, Danes made a driving layup, and added a free throw on Maine’s next possession.

Drexel’s Jen MacNeill then hit a free throw, but Blodgett answered with two of her own to cut it to 65-64 with 23.8 seconds left. Maureen Michaels converted two foul shots for Drexel two seconds later and Blodgett missed a 3-pointer with four seconds left.

Laura Lyons added two more foul shots for Drexel two seconds later to secure the victory.

Drexel played the Bears tough in Philadelphia last season before losing 55-45. The Bears then tamed the Dragons in Orono, winning by more than 30 in their next two matchups, the second in the league quarterfinals.

“In the past, we have shown that we totally focus on each game and have to respect every opponent,” Palombo said. “We weren’t as ready to play as we should have been and Drexel was over ready. They got to most every loose ball and controlled most of the intangibles.”

Freshman forward Michelle Maslowski turned in a strong effort for the Dragons with a career-high 20 points. Sandi Carver chipped in with 11 points for Maine, and Kristen McCormick added 10.

Dragons 69, Black Bears 64

Maine women (11-3) Drexel (8-8)


Danes 1 4 2 4 4 MacNeill 6 15 0 0 12

Carver 4 9 3 3 11 Maslowski 9 15 2 2 20

Cassidy 4 11 4 5 12 Miller 5 10 1 2 11

Blodgett 6 17 9 9 23 Vebrosky 0 3 1 2 1

Vachon 1 3 0 2 2 Michaels 1 6 8 9 10

Tinklova 1 3 0 0 2 Lyons 3 5 3 4 9

McCormick 4 10 2 2 10 McGovern 0 0 0 0 0

A. Clark 0 0 0 0 0 Neibert 0 2 2 4 2

Bowman 0 0 0 0 0 McGinty 2 2 0 0 4

Lopez 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 21 57 20 25 64 Totals 26 58 17 23 69

Maine 36 64

Drexel 30 69

3-pt. goals: Maine (2-18): Danes 0-1, Carver 0-1, Blodgett 2-10, Vachon 0-2, McCormick 0-4; Drexel (0-10): MacNeill 0-4, Vebrosky 0-2, Michaels 0-4

Attendance: 351

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