Nacickaite Leads Drexel Past James Madison, 67-50
Junior guard Hollie Mershon added 15 points and senior forward Tyler Hale had 12 points for the Dragons (18-12), who advanced to its first CAA title game since winning the crown in 2009. Drexel will face top-seeded Delaware in Sunday's championship game at 12:30 p.m.
James Madison (24-7) was led by junior guard Tarik Hislop with 14 points and sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder added 11 points and eight rebounds. It marks only the second time since 2005 that the Dukes have not advanced to the championship game.
Drexel used an 8-1 scoring run to break open a 14-14 tie in the latter stages of the first half. Junior forward Taylor Wootton and sophomore guard Fiona Flanagan teamed up for Drexel to score the eight points, capped off by a Flanagan three-pointer to make the score 22-15 with 3:44 remaining in the first half. The Dragons would enter intermission with a 30-22 advantage.
The Dragons came out smoking hot in the second half, using an 11-3 run to extend the lead to 41-25 with 15:18 left in the game. Nacickaite and Mershon scored seven points in the spurt. Drexel's shutout defense held James Madison without a field goal for over nine minutes in the second half and was a perfect 18-for-18 from the free throw line, icing away the game in the final minutes. That mark tied George Mason's CAA championship record which was set in Thursday's quarterfinals.
Drexel shot 42.1% (22-51) from the floor and turned 14 James Madison turnovers into 20 points. The Dragons also held a 39-31 rebounding advantage.
The Dukes shot just 33.3% (20-60) from the field and hit only 3-16 from three-point range.The championship contest will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet North East; The Comcast Network - Philadelphia and Comcast Sports Southeast.