By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
Towson 77, Drexel 70 – Box Score
Heading into action Thursday night, one might have expected Drexel to struggle scoring the basketball against a strong Towson defense. The Dragons entered play dead-last in the Colonial Athletic Association in field goal percentage at 37.5%; meanwhile, Towson walked into the DAC with a conference-best FG% defense of 38.6%. Instead of having difficulty, Drexel actually had one of its better shooting nights on the season, The Dragons shot 56% from the field, including a sparkling 7-11 (64%) from three, as they led most of the way against the Tigers.
Unfortunately, some hot shooting early on still wasn’t enough for Coach Bruiser Flint’s club, as the specter of late-game execution reared its ugly head once again for the Dragons. After a Terrell Allen three put the Dragons back up 62-59 with 6:38 remaining, Drexel made only one field goal over the next six minutes. That drought allowed the Tigers to seize a seven-point advantage and sent the Dragons into the locker room with their fifth straight defeat, dropping them to 3-17 on the season.
After the game, Flint spoke to his team’s inability to hang with Towson down the stretch:
“Got to be able to sustain. Got to keep making plays. We just don’t, that’s how we’ve played all year…In a tight game like this, I give them [Towson] credit. They made the plays they needed to make; they made some tough ones. We threw the ball away.”
As mentioned earlier, the late-game drought marred what was overall an outstanding shooting night from Drexel. Sophomore Sammy Mojica tallied a team-high 17 points behind a 3-5 effort from three, while freshman point guard Terrell Allen recorded 12 points (on a perfect 2-2 from downtown), to go along with a career-high 7 assists.
However, Towson, who generally does the bulk of its damage on the interior, was more than willing to contribute to the offensive fireworks on the evening. The Tigers shot 9-16 from three (well above their 31.1% average on the season), led by sophomore point guard Byron Hawkins. Hawkins went 3-5 from behind the arc toward his game-high 23 points, to go along with 5 assists. 10 of Hawkins’ points came in the final six minutes of the game to help Towson pull away. The Tigers’ usual leading scorer, William Adala Moto, only a 25% three-point shooter on the year, hit 3 of his 4 triples on his way to 16 points and 7 rebounds.
Following the loss, Coach Flint alluded to the fact that many of his young players have been put in a position they’ve not ready for this season. He didn’t mention it specifically, but the unexpected transfer of star player Damion Lee seems to continually hang over this nightmare of a season for Drexel. It’s not hard to envision how having one of the best scorers in the country to turn to in crunch time could easily flip a lot of these late-game losses around. Hopefully, the Dragons’ young players are learning from these mistakes and will benefit from them in years to come, because as for this season, it can’t end soon enough for Drexel fans.