Final: College of Charleston 47, Drexel 46
Player of the Game: N/A
Key to the game: Creating shots (or lack thereof)
Next Game: Sunday Feb 16 vs Hofstra at the DAC (Mens/Womens Doubleheader)
Lets not kid ourselves, the College of Charleston defense is for real, it reminds us of Drexel teams past and it can grind you down to the dirt. The defenses looked really good in a game where neither teams offense seemed to make an appearance, from Chris Fouch's mere 6 points to Adjehi Baru's 0-7 from the free throw line (he was a 69% free throw shooter entering the game). A wide swath of the population will be talking about free throws after this one, as neither team broke 55% from the stripe and I personally think that they should re-measure the baskets at the TD Arena. Even if Drexel had broken 50% from the stripe, free throws would be discussed whenever you lose by one after the other team picks up two on a head coaches technical.
Lets talk about that technical, because I think it's hilarious. It certainly wasn't one of the all time Bruiser techs, as he's been much more animated to referees in the past. What made this one amazing was that Bru took his use it or lose it timeout with 2.2 seconds left which makes no sense at all, and because he took that timeout he then was able to also get himself tech'ed up. If he doesn't take the useless timeout, the odds are those two points stay off the board. He really had to go out of his way with stupid to earn this tech, and he did, and if you're a long time Drexel fan and don't find that funny, you need to enjoy life a little more.
Sure, if Drexel had shot 100% from the line, they would have likely won this game. They would also still not have broken 60 points. It's not like the Dragons played well enough where anyone thought they deserved to win this thing, free throws or not. A simply dreadful performance by The Cougars (with a hat tip to another decent defensive performance by DU, the third in a row, more on that in the HU pregame) helped the Dragons stay in a game where the Drexel offense played just well enough to get blown out.
In the pregame, Charleston's interior defense was the discussion, as they had depth, skill and experience. The way to beat these guys was a drive and dish game, and effective perimeter shooting. The Dragons were 0/9 from downtown, with Chris Fouch only getting three attempts. The entire team combined for three assists, and outside of two memorable passes, the guys weren't creating anything for each other, which is the reason why Tavon Allen took 17 shots in this game, never a good sign, and between those 17 shots and 5 free throw attempts he finished with only 12 points, an atrocious effort, led by some viscous looking airballs. This was an offense that appeared totally unprepared to face a good Charleston defense, and that's the reason the Dragons lost this game.
Frantz Massenat should be the player of the game, he tried to take over late in the second and get to the basket, but it was too late when he kicked that game up, and after the 0/2 from the line, can't well give it to him. Bruiser, who showed some terrible use of timeouts, didn't appear to have the offense prepared despite four days off, and with the illustrious tech, almost redeemed all of that with a play out of a timeout that was absolutely beautiful with a minute left to play and scored DU an easy bucket. Dartaye Ruffin played extremely good defense and competed on the boards against the best rebounding team in the CAA. He danced around foul trouble to stay on the floor for 34 important minutes, but I can't well give POTG to someone with zero points. Rodney only had 5 boards in a half hour of playing time, Major Canady ran into his own man for a travel, and while I thought Bah played well, niether he nor Wilson saw much action. And so for the first time, there is no player of the game.
Maybe next time they'll fly.