UNC Asheville – Postgame

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Didn’t stay up for the game against Asheville?  Eric Resnick has you covered, here’s his recap:

Final Score:  Asheville 85  Drexel 66
Player of the Game:  Terrell Allen
Key to the Game:  Can’t beat the zone
Next Game:  Today, 6pm EST @ University of Alaska Anchorage

By the way the game started, you wouldn’t know that UNCA was picked 7th in a weaker Big South. The Bulldogs hustled out to a 12-0 start through the first official timeout until Tavon Allen finally got the Dragons on the board with 2 free throws 5:07 into the match.  Terrell Allen got the Dragons’ first field goal a minute later. Rodney Williams received his second foul and left the game not five minutes in and at that point had led UNCA in fouls 6-0.

Drexel survived the absence of Williams and managed to outscore UNCA 38-22 the remainder of the first half to take a 38-34 lead into the locker room. Drexel was much more physical and athletic than the undersized Bulldogs and the worm began to turn mid-way into the first half with strong play from Abif and contributions from Myles. Ahmad Thomas had a strong half as he was able to score some up close baskets isolating on the slower Bah.

Then came the second half.

The second half showed another bad start for Drexel as UNCA opened up with a 14-2 stretch the first five minutes behind a couple of threes from Robertson and some aggressive close in points from Sam Hughes as Williams and Abif road the bench with three fouls. Drexel lost its cool with technical fouls from Mojica and Coach Flint and UNCA goes on to win the second half big 51-28. Drexel faces the same fate to UNCA as Mars Hill (SC) did when they lost 85-66. This is inexcusable.  Being out rebounded by a small team 35-29, inexcusable.  Points in the paint? Don’t get me started.

Our prospectus on this game mentioned that Drexel needed to:

1) Win the turnover battle (lost that one 8-4 although 8 isn’t so bad- this shows how poor the press instituted with seven minutes left was); 2) keep Abif and Williams out of foul trouble (Williams fouled out and Abif ended with 4 fouls); 3) beat the zone (UNCA goes zone in second half and Drexel stops scoring) and 4) pound it in down low (you’re on your own, big man, go get your own basketball).

Some good signs were to be found.  Terrell Allen and Mojica were in synch on the break in the first half, something we have not seen yet this season. They finished with 19 and 16 points, respectively. Allen continues to show his smart play as his assist to turnover remains well above 2:1 for the season. Smart play cannot be said for Tavon Allen as he continued to struggle with the step back jumper and went 1-9 from the floor.

Drexel is still behind the national curve getting used to the rule changes, but it was better tonight.  Too many illegal screens, hand checks and restriction of player freedom of movement fouls. You wonder if the new rules are being stressed to the players by the staff.

Unfortunately Drexel now finds itself in a no-win situation Friday having to play D2 host Alaska-Anchorage who beat the Dragons back in 1981. A game Drexel should win but one you don’t feel so confident it will. Vegas won’t handicap it, but I will, U of AA -2.

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