|Dragons Complete Sweep Of Seahawks|
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – Reserve forward Tavon Allen scored all 10 of his second-half points in the final nine minutes as Drexel carved out a 61-50 decision over UNCW in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball tilt Monday night at the Daskalakis Center.
The Dragons completed a sweep of the regular season series with the Seahawks and improved to 12-10 overall and 4-5 in the CAA with the home victory. UNCW fell for the 12th consecutive time to dip to 6-17 and 0-8.
Allen, a sophomore from New Haven, Conn., led the Dragons with 17 points off the bench on 8-of-15 shooting. Graduate guard Chris Fouch contributed 16 points, five rebounds and four assists, while senior playmaker Frantz Massenat finished with 15 points and five dimes.
Junior guard Addison Spruill of UNCW led all scorers with 22 points, going 10-of-19 from the floor, and just missed matching his career-high of 24 points. The former Pender High School star was the lone player in double figures for the Seahawks, who shot 35.7 percent on the night.
“We settled for too many three’s late in the game,” said fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “We needed to drive the ball to the hole. It was a great opportunity with the small crowd caused by the weather, but we could never capitalize on it.”
On a snowy night in Philadelphia, the Dragons won their fifth straight over UNCW behind Fouch’s long-range shooting in the first half and the spirited play of Allen and Massenat after intermission. Drexel shot 50 percent in the second half to keep the Seahawks winless in the league.
But it wasn’t easy.
The Seahawks missed five of their first six shots in the second half to fall behind, 34-24, but rallied to close the deficit to one point at the midway point of the final period.
With Drexel on top, 38-30, Spruill keyed a six-point spurt and his three-pointer from the right corner cut the margin to 40-13 with 9:13 left to play. Allen then answered with a jumper from the left wing before UNCW’s Dylan Sherwood responded with a layup to keep close, 42-41, at 8:19.
But Allen continued his hot streak, scoring two straight buckets, and then added four more points down the stretch to help the Dragons improve to 5-4 at the cozy Daskalakis Center.
The Dragons cranked up the defensive pressure late in the second half and held the Seahawks to just 33.3 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes. Cedrick Williams, who entered the game averaging 14.4 ppg, was held to six points on 1-of-12 shooting, marking only the third time the junior forward has not reached double figures this season.
UNCW finished with a season-low five turnovers, but Drexel managed one better, committing just four miscues on the night.
Fouch and Spruill dominated the first half of play as the pair combined for 23 points to lead their respective teams. Fouch went 4-of-7 from the floor and was perfect on all three of his trey attempts for 13 points. Spruill, meanwhile, scored 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
The lead changed hands several times in the early going before Rodney Williams made a pair of free throws at 9:20 to give Drexel a 16-11 advantage.
But UNCW responded with a 9-0 run to build a 20-16 edge on Spruill’s jumper on the left baseline at 5:40 and still led, 22-17, when Spruill scored again – this time on a driving layup – with just under four minutes left in the first period. Drexel, meanwhile, went nearly seven minutes without a field goal.
Drexel regrouped to close out the first half in a flourish, outscoring UNCW 12-2 over the last four minutes to take a 29-24 lead at intermission. Allen’s dunk with four seconds on the clock capped a strong end to the first half by the Dragons.
The Seahawks return home to entertain William & Mary on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Dragons play host to James Madison on Saturday at 2 p.m.
GAME NOTES: The Dragons rallied for a 79-63 decision over the Seahawks on Jan. 18 at Trask Coliseum…Peterson now stands 1-5 against Drexel since taking over the program four years ago…Drexel owns a 6-4 edge over UNCW in Philadelphia…Massenat, who scored 30 points in DU’s win in Wilmington, had just two points on a pair of free throws in the first half…Drexel made 16-of-17 free throws…UNCW outrebounded Drexel, 32-30, and held the Dragons to just two offensive boards…Nine different players scored for the Seahawks…Point guard Ben Eblen had two blocks…Craig Ponder had 16 points against the Dragons in the first meeting and just two markers in Monday’s game…The Seahawks went 3-of-14 from long distance.