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Courtesy: CAA/Rafael Suanes

Third-seeded Drexel Headed to Battle No. 1 Delaware with 50-34 Win over James Madison

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 03/16/2013
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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (March 16, 2013) - Third-seeded Drexel held second-seeded James Madison scoreless for nine minutes in the second half and defeated the Dukes 50-34 in the second semifinal of the CAA Women's Basketball Championship, presented by Jani-King, on Saturday afternoon.

Drexel (22-9) advances to take on top-seeded Delaware in tomorrow's championship game for the second year in a row. The Blue Hens defeated the Dragons, 59-43, in the title contest a year ago. James Madison falls to 22-10 with the loss.

The winner of the Delaware/Drexel game will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The Championship contest will be broadcast on the Comcast SportsNet family of networks at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.

Senior guard Hollie Mershon led all scorers with 21 points, while adding six rebounds and five assists as Drexel led for a majority of the 40 minute contest. Senior forward Taylor Wootton added 13 points and eight rebounds and junior guard/forward Fiona Flanagan chipped in nine rebounds to go with seven points for the Dragons.

James Madison was led by sophomore forward Toia Giggetts' 14-point performance, which went along with eight rebounds. Junior guard Kirby Burkholder was dominant on the glass with a game-high 13 rebounds and added eight points for the Dukes.

Leading 26-20 heading into the second half, Drexel reeled off a quick 6-2 run to increase its lead to 10 with 13:47 to play in the regulation. The Dragons defense became the key to the game as they held the Dukes scoreless for over five minutes and were held to just one made free-throw in over nine minutes of play in the final 11 minutes of the game.

Drexel shut down the Dukes top scorer on the season Tarik Hislop (16.5 ppg), holding her to just nine points and only three points in the second half. Burkholder, who entered the game shooting 34.7% from behind the arc, also struggled from three point range finishing 0-4.

Drexel held a 26-20 halftime lead due in part to an 11-0 run early in the first half. James Madison would cut the Dragons lead to 23-20 before Meghan Creighton sank a three-pointer with just over a minute to play in the half gave Drexel the six point advantage. The Dragons were 6-11 from behind the arc in the first period (54.5%) compared to a 0-8 effort from the Dukes. Wootton led the Dragons into the lockeroom at the half with nine points.

Both teams struggled to find its shooting touch with Drexel shooting 29.5% compared to James Madison's 27.7 percent. Drexel held a 39-37 rebounding advantage and finished the game 7-16 (43.8%) from long range compared to James Madison's 1-13 (7.7%) effort.

Tune into CAA.TV following Comcast SportsNet's coverage of Sunday's Championship Final to watch live postgame celebration and press conference reactions.