PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Tournament gets underway on Wednesday right here in Philadelphia.
The tourney will be held at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Drexel’s campus, which makes the fact that Drexel is the top seed in the field extra special.
The Dragons have already had a phenomenal season with a record of 24-6. The 24 wins represent a program record. The Dragons went 16-2 in CAA play during the regular season and they are a perfect 13-0 at the DAC.
Being undefeated at home makes having the conference tourney on their home floor a pretty big deal for Drexel head coach Denise Dillon.
“It’s huge,” she tells KYW Newsradio. “I couldn’t be more excited. We knew about this last year when it started going back to home courts and you had it at JMU last year, knowing we were going to have it this year. Next year it’s going to be at Delaware. With us not being aware of the team that we were going to assemble, there was some uncertainty. But after seeing what [the team] put together and how they stuck together, they had a goal, to put themselves in the best position possible of hosting this tournament. Being on our home bench, in our locker room, all those little things were motivation for them. So when you talk about controlling your own destiny, this group had a plan, they stuck to it and here we are at the DAC, excited to show off Drexel.”
Drexel will open play on Thursday against the winner of the first round game between the #8 seed UNCW and the #9 seed Towson. Regardless of the opponent, Dillon says they know what they have to do to enjoy tournament success.
“Biggest key will definitely be on the defensive end,” she says. “It’s something we have really worked on and convinced this team that it’s their edge, being disruptive on the defensive end, whether it’s in the full court pressure or half court with some looks in our zone. We have been consistent with not knowing who our scorers are, night in and night out, but finding different ways to score and that’s just team basketball. But counting on the defense and then sticking together as a team has been our edge and that has to remain true this week.”
Drexel’s defense is holding opponents to 55.8 points a game this season on average. When it comes to offense, Drexel has four players averaging between nine and twelve points with senior forward Kelsi Lidge leading the way at 11.5 ppg.
The winner of the CAA Tournament earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Drexel’s first-round game on Thursday will start at noon.
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