Drexel Advances To CAA Championship Game
RICHMOND, Va. - Drexel used a stifling defensive effort and never trailed as the top-seeded Dragons defeated fourth-seeded Old Dominion, 68-51 , on Sunday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Men's Basketball Championship.
Drexel (27-5), looking to capture its first CAA title, advances to Monday night's championship game to face the winner of the second semifinal game between No. 2 VCU and No. 3 George Mason. It's the first appearance in the title game since 2003 for the Dragons, who won their school-record 19th consecutive game.
Sophomore guard Frantz Massenat had a game-high 20 points to lead Drexel and was among four Dragons to reach double-figures in scoring.
Senior forward Chris Cooper led ODU with 12 points and 10 rebounds, as the two-time defending CAA champions fell to 20-13.
ODU missed 10 of its first 11 shots from the field as Drexel jumped out to an early 15-3 lead. Junior guard Chris Fouch, who finished with 16 points, knocked down two treys during the run. Cooper used a jumper to close the gap to 17-12 with 6:09 remaining until half. Drexel pushed the margin back to double-digits just before intermission, taking a 27-17 lead into the break.
The Dragons extended the lead to 41-25 as CAA Rookie of the Year Damion Lee buried a three-pointer with 16:02 remaining. Lee finished with 17 points. Old Dominion closed the margin to 46-38 on a Cooper three-point play with 7:58 to play. Lee and Massenat responded for Drexel, each with a driving layup to put the Dragons back in control.
Drexel, which won its first regular-season CAA crown, edged the Monarchs on the boards, 40-37. Senior forward Samme Givens recorded 12 points to go along with 12 rebounds for Drexel. The Dragons shot 40 percent (22-55) for the game, including 48 percent (12-25) in the second half. Drexel outscored the Monarchs 28-24 in the paint.
Senior guard Kent Bazemore added 12 points and eight rebounds for ODU, but the Monarchs shot just 33 percent (19-57) from the floor, including 16 percent (3-18) from beyond the arc.