Blue Hens Hold Off Furious Drexel Rally, Hold On For Crucial 66-64 Win Over Dragons
January 28, 2013
Photos Courtesy of Mark Jordan
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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The University of Delaware men’s basketball team led for virtually the entire game and held off a furious Drexel rally over the final four minutes as the Blue Hens posted a dramatic 66-64 victory over the Dragons Monday night at the Daskalakis Center.
Delaware, which halted a three-game losing skid while improving to 9-11 overall and 4-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, was up 64-49 with 4:19 remaining when Josh Brinkley converted a layup. But the Dragons, who fell to 8-12 overall and 4-4 in the conference while having their three-game winning streak snapped, mounted a rally that nearly gave them an improbable victory.
Drexel exploded for a 9-0 run, including the final seven points by Damion Lee, to close within 64-58 at the 2:49 mark. Lee then fouled out but Blue Hens guard Kyle Anderson missed the front end of a one and one, and the Dragons’ Frantz Massenat converted two foul shots followed by a jumper to make it a two-point game with 1:59 to play.
Jarvis Threatt finally answered with a free throw for Delaware but Massenat then hit two more from the charity stripe, and following a Jamelle Hagins miss, Drexel had the ball with :27.8 left down 65-64.
Massenat then missed with 21 seconds to go, but the Dragons grabbed the offensive rebound. Massenat drove the left side of the lane but once again his shot was off the mark, and after Daryl McCoy corralled the rebound, he missed from in close. Anderson then grabbed the board in the paint, and was fouled with 2.6 seconds left. After Anderson missed his first free throw attempt and made the second, Massenat, who hit a similar heave to beat Hofstra last week, had another chance. But his runner from half court came up short, giving the Blue Hens the victory.
Delaware, which had dropped four straight games and 11 of the previous 12 meetings at the Daskalakis Center, dominated most of the evening as the Blue Hens connected on 28 of 55 field goal attempts for a 50.9 shooting percentage. The Blue Hens also bounced back in the rebounding department by holding a 41-32 edge on the glass over Drexel, and dished out a season-high 16 assists.
“Drexel did an unbelievable job of keeping pressure on us, and we didn’t handle it great, but we still came up with the win,” said seventh-year Blue Hen head coach Monté Ross. “I was really proud of our guys, they were tough tonight to come into a hostile environment and build a big lead. Offensively we were sharp; we screened well, cut hard, and got good looks.”
Anderson (at right), who was held scoreless during both Drexel games during his freshman year, led Delaware with 15 points while adding six rebounds and four assists. Devon Saddler contributed 13 points, as he moved into eighth place on the UD career scoring chart and is now just two points shy of 1,400 for his career.
Junior Carl Baptiste (at left) gave Delaware a huge lift off the bench as he led the Blue Hens with a career-high 13 rebounds while adding eight points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field. Jamelle Hagins chipped in with 11 points for Delaware, while Josh Brinkley was the fourth Blue Hen in double figures with 10 points.
Lee scored a career-high 30 points for the Dragons, who were held to just 22 of 64 shooting for a 34.4 percentage. Massenat added 15 points, while Derrick Thomas added nine and McCoy collected 10 rebounds.
Delaware connected on five of its first six field goal attempts and used an early 9-0 run, including the final six points by Brinkley, to take an 11-2 advantage and force a Drexel time out just three minutes into the game. Later the Blue Hens used a 6-0 spurt to take their largest lead of the night at 25-9 on an Anderson jumper, before Drexel answered with five straight points to pull within 11.
Delaware would maintain its double digit lead for most of the half, taking a 31-19 lead on a Baptiste layup with 3:29 remaining. However the Blue Hens would go scoreless the rest of the period, as Drexel scored the final five points to close within seven at the break.
The Dragons opened the second half scoring with a Thomas basket but Delaware answered with seven of the next 10 points, going up 38-28 on a Threatt transition layup at the 16:19 mark. Drexel used a 9-3 spurt to close the gap to four points before Hagins scored inside while getting fouled, making it a 44-37 game with 11:57 to play.
It was still just a 46-40 game a minute later but Anderson scored in the paint, drained a three-pointer and found Baptiste for a baseline jumper as UD extended the lead to 53-40 with 8:15 left. The Blue Hens would lead by double digits for the next five minutes and were up 64-49 with 4:19 on the clock when Brinkley converted a layup, before Drexel began its late rally.
The Blue Hens are right back in action on Wednesday, when they begin a two-game homestand by hosting William & Mary at 7 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.