This afternoon's game between Delaware and Drexel was the 150th meeting between the Blue Hens and the Dragons, with Delaware holding a 77-72 advantage. It's safe to say that this meeting was big for both teams for several reasons.
For Delaware they were trying to close a week that featured three games and their first CAA loss of the year at the hands of Towson. A win today would clinch a share of the CAA regular season title for the Blue Hens and mark their first title since 1999 when the Blue Hens were in the America East Conference. It was also senior night for Devon Saddler, Davon Usher, Carl Baptiste, and Tommy Williams.
Bruiser Flint's Dragons were coming in off a tough overtime road lost at James Madison and with a 6-7 record in the CAA. The 6-7 mark had the Dragons clinging to the fourth seed in the CAA Tournament and a loss would put them in a three way tie with Charleston and JMU, two teams the Dragons have lost to recently and will likely meet in the first round in Baltimore.
Delaware came out of the game looking like the team that was more hungry for their end of the bargain that came with a win, as the Blue Hens shot out to a 10-0 lead. Drexel responded nearly immediately though, so much so they lead Delaware 16-13 at the under 12 media timeout thanks to 9 early points from Chris Fouch.
The back and forth half would conclude with a 33-31 lead for the Blue Hens behind 12 points from Saddler. One of potential key storylines in the second half would be that Drexel star guard Frantz Massenat received three fouls in the first half.
Tavon Allen gave the Dragons a big offensive boost the first seven minutes of the second half and Drexel would need it the rest of the way as Massenat picked up his fourth foul with just over 13 minutes to play with Delaware up 44-43.
Drexel retook the lead 49-44 but got in more foul trouble when Dartaye Ruffin picked up his fourth foul around the then minute mark. Drexel picked up another foul almost immediately and put Delaware in the bonus early on.
The Dragons seemed to weather the foul trouble until the 4:29 mark when a one handed thunder dunk from a streaking Davon Usher gave the Blue Hens a 59-58 lead. Drexel's problems compounded right after that dunk when Chris Fouch became the third Dragon to pick up his fourth foul.
Tavon Allen remained hot and buoyed the Dragons through foul trouble. A big three at the 3:03 mark gave Drexel back the lead 62-61 and set us up for a back and forth last three minutes of this game. Some more crafty plays from Allen, solid perimeter defense, and clutch free throw shooting from Massenat would give the Dragons a 69-65 win.
Allen finished the afternoon with 25 points off the bench for the Dragons. Chris Fouch added 19 and Massenat finished with 11. Drexel now moves to 7-7 in the CAA and are in the drivers seat for the fourth seed in the conference tournament. The Dragons will look for revenge versus Charleston on Wednesday.
Delaware will get another attempt at grabbing the regular season championship on Wednesday at UNC Wilmington. Monte Ross' team will be bolstered by the return of Jarvis Threatt and Marvin King-Davis off of suspension.