Well, when I think of Drexel, I think of the CAA's likely copyrighted phrase "Rock fight". It's a word that has often described CAA play. But when it comes to rock fights, no team does it better than the Dragons. Low scoring, physical, close games with both teams scoring in the fifties. More often than not in its history under Bruiser, Drexel usually has come out on top thanks to its very good defense and its just good enough offense.
But thanks in large part to the development of sophomore guard Frantz Massenat, freshman Damion Lee and returing stalwarts Chris Fouch and Samme Givens, the Dragons have had their best offense in a long time. Drexel was first in the CAA in three point field goal percentage and third in field goal percentage.
The Dragons immediately showed off their offensive prowess against the Seahawks of UNCW, hitting their first four shots from the field to jump out to a 9-4 lead. But UNCW responded with a 12-4 spurt to jump ahead 16-13, which allowed the Old Dominion fans in attendance for the next game to roar in approval, since ODU was Drexel's likely next opponent. It wasn't like the Dragons were playing bad defense. The Seahawks were just hitting tough shots like Cedrick Williams turnaround jumper that put UNCW up 12-10.
However, the Dragons rallied as they outscored the Seahawks 10-4 the rest of the first half. Massenat came alive with several pretty passes for three assists in the final six minutes. One of the passes was thrown through traffic with such precision that Peyton Manning would have been proud. Then came a loose ball right by the Drexel bench where it almost looked like Bruiser Flint wanted to jump into the pile. The Dragons entered halftime up 27-22 on a driving layup, by who else, Massenat.
In the nine years that I have watched the CAA Tournament, Drexel had never had as large a student section as they did for this tournament. The DACPack was large and in charge with a resounding "D-U" chant with the Dragons' contingent of fans behind their bench. Considering how Virginia based the Colonial Athletic Association conference is, it was a welcome thing to see.
Drexel did an excellent job on UNCW's star player, Keith Rendleman. Rendleman only scored ten points on three of nine shooting from the field. Often it seemed that he was literally bouncing off Drexel's mammoth Darryl McCoy (who's listed at 270 pounds, but as Shaka Smart noted the next day "That's a joke".). McCoy would foul out later after hammering Rendleman on a shot attempt, but not before the "270 pound" big man had ten rebounds on the day.
As for the Dragons' offense, they shot forty eight percent in the second half. Four players averaged in double figures; Fouch had fourteen points, Massenat and Givens each had eleven and Lee had ten points. Drexel outrebounded UNCW 24-13 in the second half.
As the Dragons' student section cheered in approval at the end of the game, the final score indicated one thing. Another rock fight won by Drexel.