PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/18/2016 – The Drexel Dragons came into the game looking for their initial win under Coach Zach Spiker. They got it by defeating the Hartford Hawks 87 – 73 in the home opener. Freshman guard Kurk Lee led the way for the Dragons scoring a career-mark 24 points in getting win number one.
“It was a matter of trusting my teammates and them believing in me, and I’m just running the show,” said Lee about his performance. “The coach put the ball in my hands, and just taking the opportunity. One game at a time. This is a great home win.”
The game turned in the direction of Drexel early in the second half. Hartford guard Jalen Ross, 2 of his game-high 30 points, made a layup cutting the Dragons lead to 36 – 35 at the 16:50 mark. It would be the last field goal for the Hawks for almost four minutes. Drexel ran off to a 14 – 4 run stretching the lead to double-digits. Following a basket by John Carroll for Hartford, Drexel took control behind a 6 – 0 run capped by a layup by Lee to lead 57 – 41 with 11:27 to play. It was the largest lead for the Dragons.
“When we were shooting the shots we were not to be shooting Drexel got out early and ran,” said Hartford Coach and Delaware County native John Gallagher. “We got caught in some mismatches defensively, and they exploited it.”
But where the Dragons succeeded was on the boards where they had a 41 – 36 edge with 9 on the offensive glass.
“Going into the game we wanted to be active on the glass,” said Drexel Coach Zach Spiker. “We were active, but not as much as we had hoped. Our second chance points were timely. We got two-handed rebounds to secure the basketball. We had some big-boy, grown men rebounds.”
Forward Rodney Williams contributed 21 points and took down 8 rebounds. Austin Williams had a team and career-high 11 rebounds. Jonsson had his first double-digit game scoring 12 points and handed out 5 assists. Drexel shot 47.6% from the field and went 21 of 36 (58.3%) in the second half. The Dragons were 4 of 18 from beyond the arc.
“We shot a good percentage and got to the rim,” said Spiker. “We don’t want to be a team defined by three-point shooting, and it’s a good sign to shoot nearly fifty percent.”
Hartford was held to under 40% shooting (22 of 58). Carroll posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
There were 61 free throws attempted in the contest.
The Dragons improve to 1 – 2 on the season and travel to North Texas for a Saturday game.
“Great feeling, this is a great feeling,” said Lee about win number one. “On to the next one.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian