|Drexel Ends UNCW's Season In Philly|
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania - Drexel used an 18-6 run early in the second half to pull away from pesky UNCW and hand the Seahawks a 62-46 loss in their Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball season finale Saturday night at the cozy Daskalakis Center.
The Dragons registered their second straight win and carry a 13-17 overall record and 9-9 CAA mark into next week's postseason tournament. The Seahawks lost their fourth consecutive game and finished the year at 10-20 and 5-13.
Senior forward Daryl McCoy paced the Dragons with 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds in his final home appearance for Drexel. Sophomore guard Damion Lee added 12 points and senior guard Derrick Thomas had 11 and four assists as Drexel won its third straight over the Seahawks.
Senior forward Keith Rendleman capped his brilliant career with another workmanlike performance, pouring in a game-high 24 points - two shy of his career-best - with 10 rebounds. He concluded his career with 1,516 points, passing Jay Nearby for fourth on UNCW's all-time list. He also closed out his four years with 1,055 rebounds (first), 140 steals (fifth) and 142 blocks (second).
Rendleman recorded his NCAA-leading 19th double-double of the season and finished with 42 in his career. He was the only player in double figures for the Seahawks, who shot 35.2 percent, including just 3-of-15 behind the arc.
Drexel didn't fare much better from the floor, but connected on 19-of-25 at the free throw line to improve to 5-4 against UNCW in Philadelphia. The Dragons outscored the Seahawks at the charity stripe, 19-5, and rode a big advantage on the glass, 56-28, to the home win.
The Dragons inched out to a 30-25 lead at halftime and couldn't shake the Seahawks until the decisive spurt at the beginning of the final period. While UNCW's guards were misfiring from the outside, Lee and Thomas heated up and CAA Preseason Player-of-the-Year Frantz Massenat scored all nine of his points.
"We've got to shoot the ball better from the outside," said Buzz Peterson, who concluded his third season on the bench. "Every time our guards shoot like this, we're going to struggle. The officials were letting them play and we didn't do a good job of finishing plays."
UNCW, making its first visit to the Dac since Feb. 24, 2010, trailed 13-6 just eight minutes into the contest as both teams struggled from the field early. UNCW made only three of its first 12 field goal attempts and Drexel opened 4-of-12.
The Dragons finally got untracked and built a 13-6 lead with 11:18 left in the first half on a massive dunk by the wide-body McCoy.
UNCW finally gained the lead, 19-18, when Rendleman surpassed the 1,500-point mark of his career on a trey from the left side with 7:42 left in the first period. He led all scorers in the first half with13 points and added six rebounds.
The Seahawks still led, 23-20, with just over three minutes left when Drexel regrouped. The Dragons, behind Derrick Thomas, closed out the half with a 10-2 run and McCoy's free throw with 34 seconds on the clock staked Drexel to a five-point edge at the break.
In the second half, Cedrick Williams made a turnaround jumper at 17:50 to close Drexel's lead to 31-29, but Dartaye Ruffin completed a conventional three-point play to start the big run and McCoy's basket with just over 10 minutes left pushed the advantage to 49-35.
Drexel enjoyed its largest lead of the contest, 60-40, when Lee dropped in a pair of free throws with 3:54 remaining.
The Seahawks have posted back-to-back 10-win seasons after going 10-21 one year ago. UNCW struggled on the road once again in 2012-13, compiling a 1-15 mark away from Trask Coliseum, only beating Hofstra, 57-51, on Jan. 26 in Hempstead, N.Y.
GAME NOTES: UNCW still leads the series by a 12-9 margin...Drexel leads the series in Philadelphia, 5-4....The Seahawks have lost 21 of 22 games on the road over the last two seasons...The Seahawks were picked to finish 11th in the preseason and wound up ninth ahead of Hofstra and Old Dominion...UNCW had just seven turnovers in the game...It was the second lowest offensive output of the season for the Seahawks and the fourth time the team was held below 50 points this season...Drexel had 18 second-chance points to none for UNCW...Milson had a game-high five assists off the bench...Rendleman played all but one minute in his final collegiate appearance...Rendleman made two of UNCW's three treys and finished his career with 10-of-29 from deep...Drexel won the offensive rebounding battle by a lopsided 20-3 margin.