Drexel (26-5, 16-2 CAA), the #1 seed, started off the CAA tournament with an ugly win over 9th-seeded UNC-Wilmington, 59-47.
Drexel, as one of the for top seeds (ODU, George Mason, and VCU are the others), was given a bye past the first round of the tournament into the second round. The night before, UNCW had topped 8th-seeded James Madison 70-59, using freshman Cedrick Williams’ 22 points to lead them to victory.
Drexel, however played shut-down D, and was able to pull out the victory despite having a subpar offensive day. Drexel was awful from beyond the arc, going 3/17 (17.6%), uncharacteristic of a team that normally shoots just under 40% from long range.
This performance is not one that we see often from a team as dominant as Drexel, because we are used to seeing them put up better shooting performances. The one consolation they can take from this game is the fact that their already stellar defense had another spectacular game. They held UNCW Seahawks to 17-49 (34.7%) from the field. That is stellar defense.
Drexel was led in terms of scoring by Chris Fouch, with 14. Fouch has had an up-and-down season, but seems to be looking more consistent now. Drexel led at one point, 55-37, and let UNC-Wilmington finish the game on a 10-4 run. This win puts Drexel’s streak at 18. This streak is impressive, as they have beaten teams such as VCU, George Mason, and Old Dominion during this stretch.
However, if they want to keep their streak alive, the Dragons will have to go through a tough foe in 4th-seeded Old Dominion in the semifinals of the CAA tournament. Old Dominion was able to beat Delaware handily, 88-74, in their quarterfinal matchup.
The Monarchs game Drexel a run for their money in the last game of the regular season, nearly pulling off an upset. The were one free throw away from sending the game into OT, but Drexel escaped with the win. If Drexel hopes to beat Old Dominion and go to the final, they need to play better on the offensive end than they did today. However, they have proven that they can beat Old Dominion, so we will see if they can extend their streak and solidify an already impressive tournament résumé.