Final Score: Charleston 89, Drexel 67
Key to the Game: Stop Someone, In the Name of Love
Drexel Player of the Game: Kurk Lee
Next Game: Thursday February 15 @ Northeastern
The Dragons traveled to Charleston for the first of two trips in a months time on Saturday. This one was a TD Arena based matchup against a College of Charleston team that is riding high. They are first in the CAA standings, helped by being first in offensive efficiency and third in defense in the conference. The Dragons knew they would be without the services of the best defensive player in the league when they walked into the Cougars den, and if fans weren’t aware of that going in, they certainly knew it by the games conclusion.
The Dragons gave up a season high 1.48 points per possession, which is the second highest number allowed by a CAA team this year, trailing only William and Mary’s allowance to Towson in a game played at Kaplan in mid January. Credit goes to Coach Spiker’s bunch for keeping the game close until there were ten minutes left in the contest. The game was tied a the 11:31 mark following a Troy Harper free throw, but a quick 15-0 run put the game away faster than Drexel’s Head Coach could call timeouts.
While the Drexel toughness and fight should be applauded, keeping things close while their defense was wilting like an old man on a beach, this game was always going to end this way. The Cougars, who lead the league in hanging onto the ball, only had one turnover all night. Just over half of their shots were layups or dunks, which led to the incredible 5:1 dunk to turnover ratio, a stat we may never see again in our lifetimes. It was going to be a tough offense to keep up with.
Trying to keep up with the Cougars on the other end, the Dragons had a healthy 23 layups, but the good news ended there. They had just 8 assists against 11 turnovers. When they were keeping themselves in the game, it was with tough shots. They weren’t creating for one another, they weren’t taking the smartest of shots, but they were hitting. That’s talent, and it’s something that this team and these players possess. This is an offensively talented team, and no one should be disputing that. But they are even better when they are passing the ball well, and they certainly need to figure out something on defense. If they are going to not stay in front of their men they need to get opportunistic and at least create some turnovers. Doing neither, will make more games look like this one, even if their opponents may not be as sound as Charleston.
The game ball on this one goes to Kurk Lee, who not only gave up the ball in the play prior to halftime, but got it back and hit a triple to keep this a 5 point game going into the break, but was also the only guard with at least a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio. Keep on keeping on Kurk.
The Dragons return to the court to play another fundamentally sound bunch, Northeastern, on Thursday night in Boston.