Philadelphia - Gabriela Marginean scored 35 points in her Drexel finale, but it was not enough to hold off the East Carolina Lady Pirates (23-10) in a 78-76 overtime loss in the first round of the WNIT. The Dragons held an 18-point lead with six and a half minutes left, but let it all slip away. Allison Spivey put back a missed shot with one-tenth of a second left in overtime to complete her team's improbable comeback victory in its first appearance in the WNIT. Drexel completes its 2009-10 season with a 17-14 overall record.
Jean Best converted two free throws with five seconds on the clock at the end of regulation to cap a 19-5 run, erase Drexel's 18-point lead, and knot the score at 66 all. Marisa Crane sprinted the length of the court and got a shot off in the lane, but it bounced around the rim and went out, sending Drexel into its sixth overtime game of the season.
Drexel trailied by five points, 76-71, with 36 seconds left in overtime, after a break away layup by the Pirates' leading scorer Ashley Clarke. But a three-pointer by Jasmina Rosseel, who finished with 17 points, and a jumper by Marginean in the lane following an ECU turnover tied the game at 76-76.
East Carolina hurried the ball down court with 11 seconds left. Kelly Smith heaved up a three-pointer that went long, Chareya Smith collected the rebound in a crowd of players and threw up a layup that rolled around the rim and went out. Spivey grabbed the board and put back the layup with one-tenth of a second on the clock to win the game for ECU.
"This is absolutely unbelievable and I am speechless," head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener stated. "I am just incredibly proud of the fight our team showed and how they just didn't quit despite the large deficit."
East Carolina outshot Drexel 46.2 percent to 41.1 percent from the floor. Drexel knocked down 11 three-pointers on 28 attempts, led by a 5-for-14 performance from Rosseel. The Pirates edged Drexel on the boards 42-33, but held an important edge on the offensive glass with 16 caroms that converted in to 12 second-chance points.
The Dragons led by one point, 27-26 at halftime, and used a 15-2 spurt midway through the second half to forge an 18-point advantage by the 6:38 mark. But East Carolina scored on six straight possessions to ignite a 19-5 run.
East Carolina advances to play Maryland, a victor over Iona on Friday, in the second round of the WNIT.