Final Score: Towson 77 Drexel 70
Drexel Player of the Game: Terrell Allen
Key to the Game: Losing the fistfight
Next Game: Saturday January 30 vs Hofstra
Kleenex. The Snuggles Bear. Barack Obama's Syrian Red Line.
These are things that are tougher than Bruiser Flint's Drexel Basketball team. On the box score it doesn't look so bad at first - Towson had 26 points in the paint and Drexel actually bested them with 28. This is the time, with a nod to an old boss, to remind everyone of Mark Twain's quote: "facts are stubborn, statistics are pliable." Step back and see the whole picture: Towson shot double the number of free throws than the Dragons (32 to 16) and almost quadrupled DU's offensive rebounding percentage (33% to 9%). The 8.7% offensive rebound rate was a season low for the Dragons.
When Towson wins, its due to defense and rebounding. They're made in the mold of old Flint teams in that respect, so it's not a shock that they would do well in the paint against the Dragons. But outside the paint the Dragons hit their shots. And hit their shot. And hit their shot again. But they lost. And that is why when Bruiser Flint says things like he did in the post game presser:
“Tonight, we needed to make plays late in the game--they made tough plays late in the game, I’ll give them credit, and we didn’t."
Drexel did struggle down the stretch, They shot 2 of 9 with 4 turnovers in the final six minutes of game time. And in that, Bru was right. But they had lost the game well before that. Midway through the second half the Dragons were shooting over 60% from the field but still trailed. The idea of a Bruiser Flint team shooting that well and losing is staggering. It. Does. Not. Happen. The Dragons 63.3% effective field goal percentage was the second highest efg% in a losing effort in the Flint era. How does that happen? Pretty simple:
Rodney Williams, 28 minutes, 1 rebound
Mohammed Bah, 18 minutes, 2 rebounds
Tyshawn Myles, 4 minutes, 0 rebounds
Each player who stepped on the court for the Blue and Gold was accountable for at least one turnover, contributing to the team turning the ball over on 22% of their possessions. The most damning statistic of it all is effective field goal percentage. Take the 63.3% effective field goal percentage away and replace it with their season average 43.3% and this team would have scored 52 points. Truth is, Towson beat Drexel's effort wire to wire, it was just covered up with hot shooting by the Dragons.
Losing even when shooting the lights out is about as damning a signal as we're going to see. The only good news for the Dragons is that no one is noticing anymore - for the second straight game they didn't even hit a four digit paid attendance, an idea of which would have been staggering even in the leanest of times past. If you have to hit rock bottom before you can start back up, well this program - from top to bottom - is awful close to starting the road back.