Some early season trends continued on Saturday at the DAC. The men struggled to pull out what was another close game while the women were solid in another WNIT home victory. The preseason CAA predictions appear to be holding true for both teams as far as out of conference play is concerned. The women's team was predicted to finish second and they're off to a 2-1 start with their loss coming in a tight contest against #19 South Florida. The guys, picked eighth, are now 0-3 against a handful a tough but beatable teams in St. Joes, High Point, and Monmouth.
Drexel as a whole did not shoot well in this one (37% from the field, 25% from three) but overcame that with another set of impressive free throw shooting (15-17 for 88%) and by keeping their turnovers down to ten. The Dragons forced the Bonnies into seventeen turnovers and 31% shooting from the field and just 2-18 (11%) from behind the arc. The A-10 team did themselves no favors from the line where they shot just 12-22.
The Dragons will return to action on Saturday at 2pm against Villanova in Bethlehem for the Lehigh Tournament. If you're not making the trip to Anchorage for the men's tournament, we hope to see you up there.
On the men's side, it was another tough day at the office for the Dragons. Despite holding a halftime lead after an impressive first half, Drexel let this one slip away in the second half with lackluster defense that helped lead Monmouth to 69% (holy crap) shooting in the half. As Bruiser Flint said after the game, a good number of those made shots came off of missed assignments and wide open looks.
Drexel kept itself in the game in the second half largely on the back of Rashann London who scored fifteen of his twenty points in the half. The Dragons finally gave Rodney Williams a ton of looks in the paint and he didn't disappoint en route to sixteen points (6-10 from the floor) to go with seven rebounds. Monmouth, despite a plethora of big bodies down low, had no answer for Williams. And the thing is, most teams Drexel will face this year won't either. The success of Drexel's season seems like it relies at least somewhat heavily on the ability of Williams to stay on the floor and avoid the foul trouble he saw in the team's first two games. His ability to post up and pass out of double teams and find the open perimeter shooting really opens up the entire offense.
Senior Kazembe Abif had a well rounded game (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Tavon Allen chipped in ten points despite poor shooting (3-12 from the floor). Collectively, Drexel shot 44% from the floor and just 32% from the three point line. Their foul shooting still has a ways to go, the Dragons were 17-27 (63%) for the game. Drexel missed seven second half free throws after shooting a respectable 9-12 in the first half. Abif and Williams missed a combined six free throws while Terrell Allen missed a pair as well.
Up next for the Dragons is a trip to the tropical paradise of Anchorage Alaska for the eight team Great Alaskan Shootout tournament on the campus of Alaska-Anchorage, a Division 2 school that hasn't finished last in the eight team field in quite a number of years. Drexel will take on UNC-Asheville in its first game of the tournament at midnight on Thanksgiving (as in, 11:59pm Thursday night). The Bulldogs are currently 1-3 with their lone victory coming at the hands of South Atlantic Conference powerhouse Mars Hill this week. I'll let you figure out which division they play in.
We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving, and hope you don't trample too many people at the mall on Friday. Go Dragons!