Drexel escapes Northern Iowa, moves on to play UMass

#3 Drexel defeated #7 Northern Iowa today, 65-63, to move into the NIT Elite Eight.

Givens was incredible, single-handedly leading Drexel past NIU.

The game was dominated by forward, Samme Givens who had 10 points in as many in a torrid start. He had 8 of Drexel’s first 10, and 10 out of their first 15. He ended the first half with 16 points while going a simply ridiculous 7/8 (87.5%) from the floor. He added 12 more in the second half and finished with a game-high 28. It was a nice rebound performance after back-to-back dreadful performances against VCU and then UCF.

Breakout forward Chris Fouch also contributed heavily in the first half, scoring 14 as he and Givens helped the Dragons open up a 38-28 halftime advantage. He was an incredible 4/5 (80%) from beyond the arc in the first half. Drexel dominated a majority of the first half, and led at one point 33-15.

However, Northern Iowa finished the first half on an 13-5 run to narrow the margin to 38-28. Damion Lee and Frantz Massenat were non factors as they were not really needed in the first half; it just goes to show how dominating Fouch and Givens were as they tied a school record for most points in a first half.

In the second half, the Panthers stormed back and nearly took this game from Drexel. They started out the second half on a 22-14 run, which cut the lead to 52-50. From there it was a back-and-forth contest that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

The Panthers bench bewails their round of 16 loss to Drexel.

Givens found some foul trouble late and he had to sit out, which led Drexel to struggle on offense and Northern Iowa capitalized on defense. Northern Iowa’s senior Johnny Moran nearly swiped the victory from the Dragons’ claws, as he scored 19 points, adding 5 three-pointers.

In the closing seconds, Damion Lee made two huge free throws to expand the lead to 64-60; with only 12 seconds left, it seemed to be the icing on the cake. However, Panthers forward Chip Rank went down the floor and scored a three-pointer with 5 seconds left to make it 64-63.

Senior guard Frantz Massenat was fouled, and he went to the line and made the first; he finished the day with 11. The second one, however, rattled out and UNI went down the court and gave the ball to Moran. Moran took a long three-pointer, which just missed, allowing Drexel to escape with the win. Drexel’s lapse in the second half nearly cost them, and it is something they can’t afford to keep doing if they want to walk out of New York with the NIT trophy.

With this win Drexel moves on to play fifth-seeded UMass, a team that just upset #1 Seton Hall, 77-67. The Minutemen are a very good team; they have defeated Temple this year, a superior City 6 opponent for Drexel. They also are hot, coming off of two clutch road wins against Seton Hall and Mississippi State. Drexel will need to be careful against UMass, particularly against Chaz Williams who had 20 points against Seton Hall.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Drexel

Subscribe & Share!

Subscribe to our updates to be the first to know about breaking news, interesting opinions and more in the Philadelphia sports world.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: