Sunday, January 30, 2011
Jenkins Sets Scoring Record, But Hofstra Falls to Drexel
So after listening to the end of the St Bonaventure - Fordham on WFUV radio, we walked from the parking lot to the Mack Center and entered the arena an hour before game time. Both of us were starved, but I had the ultimate equalizer. Saturday's game was also Staff Appreciation Day. Anyone that worked for Hofstra got four free tickets and a voucher for free food. Since I have season tickets, I gave my tickets to a colleague while I used the voucher for two hot dogs, a couple of pretzels, some chips and soda.
As we basically devoured our food over several minutes, the arena started filling up. By game time, the entire Lions Den student section was filled and then some. It was by far the largest student section I had seen in at least four years. And it made sense, the game was announced as a sellout. There were 5,000 people who decided to "Pack the Mack".
The game had a wacky start to it. After the starting lineups were announced, the game clock started running down for about 30 seconds before someone finally reset it to 20:00. Just another example of things that happen when Drexel and Hofstra get together.
Hofstra had won the first game earlier this month against Drexel at the DAC. And the Pride came out as if they were going to win the second game as well. Using the full house as inspiration, Hofstra went out to a 9-4 lead five minutes into the game.
But Drexel would come back and went on a 12-2 over the next four minutes as they used guard play from Chris Fouch, Gerald Colds and Derrick Thomas to score ten of their twelve points. The Dragons were up 16-11 with eleven minutes left in the first half.
Enter the man of the hour, Charles Jenkins. He would score the next four points on all free throws due to drives to the basket. He was now only ten points away from setting the scoring record that had been set by Antoine Agudio. Jenkins and Agudio were teammates during Agudio's senior season when Jenkins was a freshman (Jenkins was also redshirted during Agudio's junior year). The score was 16-15 Drexel with ten minutes left.
The Pride would then rally behind the play of Jenkins and Mike Moore. Jenkins would assist on all three of Mike Moore's baskets - two 3 pointers and a two pointer. Hofstra was down at the half 35-30. Moore would have 16 points at the half, while Jenkins had 10 points.
The second half saw the pace slow down as the teams each only had two baskets in the first five minutes. Still the Dragons dominated the glass and extended their lead to eight, 47-39 with 12:06 left. The crowd was getting restless and desperately wanted a run by the home team.
Hofstra had a chance to tie or take the lead while Jenkins sat on the bench, but Moore took an ill advised three point attempt and missed. Drexel extended the lead after that. The Dragons were up nine, 59-50 on a Dartaye Ruffin layup with 5:06 left. The Pride had no answer the entire game for the 6 foot 8 240 pound freshman forward.
So you had the moment the Lions Den faithful had been waiting for the entire second half. The Pride had a chance to take the lead and the ball was in the hands of Jenkins. Jenkins drove down the left hand side of the lane as two Drexel defenders tried to stay with him. As he went up to seemingly put up a layup, he actually tried to dump a pass to Imes underneath the basket. Drexel got possession of the ball with 39 seconds left.
winning the game 65-60.
For Drexel, it was all about there bench play. Fouch had 18 points to lead the Dragons, but it was Ruffin who was the dominant force on the night. He had a double double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. He also showed a deft touch at the line as he was 5 of 6 from the charity stripe. Samme Givens almost added a second double double for Drexel with 9 points and 10 rebounds.
But the story of the game, besides Jenkins' scoring record, was again the domination by Drexel on the boards. The Dragons outrebounded the Pride 47-24, including 20-5 on the offensive glass. That lead to six more field goal attempts and more importantly it often lead to Drexel hitting the foul line. The Dragons were 17 of 22 from the line as opposed to Hofstra's 12 of 14. Those five more free throws were the exact difference in the score of the game.
With the win, Drexel went back over .500 in the CAA at 6-5, tied for sixth with Delaware. Had they lost, the Dragons would have been basically done for a top four slot. With the loss, Hofstra is now 8-3 in the Colonial. Six days after being tied for first place in the CAA, two straight losses have put Hofstra in fourth (they are tied for third with ODU, but the Monarchs have the tiebreaker). Just another example of how crazy the CAA can be for teams.