PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/7/2016 – The Drexel Dragons dropped their fourth straight game and their conference home opener as the William & Mary Tribe leave The DAC with a 72 – 63 victory. It was a matter of giving up easy baskets off turnovers and not getting to the glass that proved to be the Dragons undoing.
“The shots that we took were fine, but we started throwing it to them,” said Drexel Coach Bruiser Flint. “I thought our defensive transition was bad. Our guys missed a shot, put their heads down, didn’t get back in transition, they scored. You can’t throw it back to them for layups.”
For the 12 miscues the Dragons made, it resulted in 21 points for the Tribe.
Drexel was out-rebounded 29 – 22 and got only 3 offensive rebounds.
“The key was rebound, rebound, rebound,” said William & Mary Coach Tony Shaver. “We gave up only three offensive rebounds which was unbelievable. We really did a job on the glass.”
The game got away from Drexel in the first half as they fell behind by as many as 18 points. The Dragons had a 16 – 9 lead with 11:45 to play in the initial stanza. That basket by guard Sammy Mojica would be the last field goal recorded by Drexel until there was 3:09 left when forward Rodney Williams put in a dunk with 3:09 on the clock. The Tribe ran off 21 consecutive points in nearly six and a half minutes broken by a two free throws by Williams. The overall run of 27 – 2 in over eight and a half minutes gave William & Mary (10 – 4, 2 -1) a 36 – 18 lead, their largest of the half.
“We missed a lot of shots and gave the ball to them, that was it,” Flint said about the run. “We missed a lot of open ones and threw it to them for layups and they went on their run.”
Another issue Drexel ran into was they got no offensive rebounds negating any put-backs or chances to get a scoring run going.
The Dragons did put together a 10 – 2 run early in the second half cutting the deficit to 48 – 37, but Tribe guard Terry Tarpey scored 8 consecutive points to end the threat. Drexel did mount another charge late coming to within 70 – 61 with just over a minute on the clock, but got no closer.
Tarpey led the way for the Tribe scoring a season-high 21 points while taking down 6 rebounds and stole the ball six times tying his carrer mark. Daniel Dixon added 19 points.
The Dragons had 4 players score in double figures with Williams and Mojica getting 13. Tavon Allen added 11 and Kazembe Abif put in 10. Williams pulled down a game-high 7 rebounds. For the game Drexel made 4 of 18 from beyond the arc while William & Mary drained 7 of 19.
“We get down and fight back, been that way all season,” Flint said. “We get down, but a lot of it is self-inflicted wounds. We play good enough to lose. I don’t worry about our effort. We play hard, but not smart making the most head scratching errors, so that’s why we have the record that we have.”
The Dragons (2 – 12, 0 – 3) go after their first conference win hosting the College of Charleston on Saturday at The DAC with 4 PM as the tip time. Flint did not envision their record at the beginning of the season.
Written By: Glenn Papazian