PHILADELPHIA – Drexel shot 54.5 percent from the floor in the second half to expand a six-point halftime lead and defeat UNCW, 56-45, in Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball action Thursday at the John A. Daskalakis Athletic Center.

The Dragons improved to 13-14 overall and 7-7 in CAA play as they halted a three-game losing skid. The Seahawks, meanwhile, moved to 4-25 and 3-12 with the setback.

Senior Tory Thierolf poured in a game-high 16 points for Drexel, who was 12-of-22 from the field in the second half after shooting just 9-of-28 from the floor in the first half. Theirolf was the only Dragons player in double figures as freshman Sarah Curran scored eight points and freshman Alexis Smith chipped in seven. Senior Fiona Flanagan grabbed a game-best nine rebounds to  help the Dragons to a 36-26 advantage on the glass.

Junior Kelva Atkins scored 11 points to lead a UNCW attack that shot just 33.3 percent from the floor for the contest. Freshman D’Asia Cain added nine points and fellow newcomer Brie Mobley chipped in eight.

UP NEXT: UNCW closes out the regular season March 5 with a 7 p.m. contest at College of Charleston. Drexel is back in action March 2 with a 2 p.m. matinee at Hofstra.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Drexel held a 22-20 lead late in the first half when a layup by Curran at the 1:02 mark of the opening frame sparked an 8-1 spurt that lasted just under three minutes and gave the Dragons a 30-21 advantage.

A three-pointer by freshman Johanna McMillan and a layup by Atkins ended the spurt and brought the Seahawks within four, 30-26, only to see the Dragons score 21 of the next 31 points to take their largest lead of the contest, 51-36, with 4:47 on the clock.

The Seahawks responded to the Drexel run, scoring six of the next eight points to pull within 11, 53-42, with 2:39 remaining. UNCW would get no closer, as the two teams traded baskets over the remainder of the contest to determine the 56-45 final score.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE: Drexel enjoyed a 32-16 advantage in points in the paint, highlighted by a 22-10 margin in the second half … Drexel finished with 17 assists on 21 baskets made … UNCW recorded 11 steals on 15 Drexel turnovers, compared to just six Dragons steals on 14 Seahawks miscues … Both teams shot better than 65 percent at the free-throw line as UNCW as 15-of-22 (.682) from the line while Drexel was 12-of-16 (.750) at the charity stripe … Both teams made just two three-point field goals in the contest as UNCW was 2-of-8 (.250) from beyond the arc while Drexel was 2-of-16 (.125) from long range … Both teams finished with one blocked shot in the contest … The two teams combined for 39 bench points, with Drexel holding a 24-15 advantage in that category.

SERIES NOTES: Thursday’s contest served as the 22nd meeting between the two programs … Drexel has won each of the last five meetings between the two programs to build a 14-8 advantage in the all-time series … UNCW moved to 2-8 in 10 contests versus the Dragons at the DAC.

UNCW TEAM NOTES:

  • UNCW used just its second different starting lineup of the season as Johanna McMillan and D’Asia Cain both made their first career starts.
  • UNCW was held below 50 points for the 10th time this season and the fifth time in the last eight games.
  • The Seahawks recorded double-digit steals for the eighth time this season as they recorded 11 thefts in the contest.
  • UNCW shot below 35 percent from the field for the 14th time this season and the fourth time in the past five contests.

UNCW PLAYER NOTES:

3 – Kelva Atkins

  • Reached double figures in points for the 24th time this season and the 40th time in her career.
  • Led team in scoring for the 19th time this season and the 25th time in her career.
  • Led team in rebounding for the ninth time this season and 11th time in her career.
  • Led team in assists for the 23rd time this season and the 37th time in her career.