Tuesday, March 19, 2013

WNIT Matchup: Iona Set For Defensive-Minded Drexel

Here's another in the series previewing opponents of MAAC teams in national post-season tournaments.

The Iona women will be playing in the WNIT, and their first-round opponent is ...


GAME INFORMATION: Iona will play at Drexel, at the Dragons' on-campus Daskalakis Athletic Center in Philadelphia Thursday at 7 p.m.

TEAM RECORDS: Iona is 22-10 and earned its WNIT berth as the highest team in the MAAC's regular-season standings (it finished second) that did not advance to the NCAA's. Drexel is 22-10.

KEY DREXEL PLAYERS: 5-10 senior guard Hollie Mershon (19.2, 6.1, 4.6 assists), 6-1 senior forward Taylor Wootton (11.5, 4.60, 5-7 freshman guard Meghan Creighton (6.3, 2.3), 5-10 junior forward Fiona Flnagan (5.0, 3.6), 5-6 senior guard Renee Johnson-Allen (4.2 4.9).

DREXEL NOTES: A strong program of late, making its fourth straight trip to the WNIT event and fifth straight national post-season tournament (NCAA's in 2009) ... The Dragons, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, lost out on the NCAA's when it fell to 18th-ranked Delaware in the league tournament's championship game, 59-56 ... Mershon's 19.2 points-per-game average is 27th best nationally, and she is a do-everything player who leads her team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and made 3-pointers. She recently went over 1,400 career points and is 10th on Drexel's all-time scoring list ... The Dragons, though, won't overwhelm Iona with size. After 6-2 forward Nicki Jones went down for the season with a January ACL injury (she was averaging 8.6, 4.6), Drexel only uses one player taller than 5-10, the 6-1 Wootton ... Still, even without Jones, Drexel was 9-4 in its last 13 games ... It played two nationally ranked teams during the season, losing to then-No. 24 South Carolina (58-55 in overtime) and three times to Delaware (62-57, 65-56 and 59-56) ... Drexel ranks 9th nationally in fewest points allowed (51.30, 7th in free-throw percentage (78.5%) and 5th in fewest turnovers per game (11.9).

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