Tom Zamonski (@tomzamonski)
After being snubbed from the NCAA Tournament last year, Drexel wants to prove that it deserves a bid this year. Unfortunately for the Dragons, their resume already has its first blemish.
Clinging to a two point lead following the first half, the Dragons were unable to put Kent St. away in the second half.
After Drexel’s Chris Fouch hit a 3 pointer to give the Dragons a 55-53 lead with only 52 ticks remaining, Kent St.’s Chris Evans responded hit a jumper with 31 seconds to send the game into overtime with the score tied at 55-55.
Evans had a strong game for the Golden Flashes. He led Kent St. in scoring and rebounding with 21 points and 9 boards. Fouch had the hot hand for Drexel as he shot 6-12 on 3 pointers and led the Dragons with 24 points.
Trailing with 19 seconds remaining in overtime, Fouch hit a clutch 3 for Drexel to tie the game up at 62 and appeared that it would be enough to send the game into a second overtime session. However, a costly foul by Derrick Thomas with 18 seconds left put Kent St.’s best player at the line, Randal Holt. Holt went on to bury the two free throws to give the Golden Flashes a 64-62 lead.
A missed 3 from the Dragon’s Derrick Thomas with 10 seconds left followed with a Frantz Massenat turnover forced Drexel to foul Holt. Holt once again nailed the free throws and spoiled the Dragon’s season opener, 66-62.
Massenat, preseason CAA Player of the Year, struggled for the Dragons. He scored six points on 30 percent shooting. Massenat also led the game with five turnovers.
Despite shooting 36.7 percent from the floor, Drexel still shot better than Kent St.’s 35.1 field goal percentage. The Dragons also won the battle of the boards, 44-42.
The difference in this close matchup ultimately came down to free throws. The Golden Flashes were able to gain 20 points from the line compared to the Dragons’ 11.
With this win Kent St. has now won five consecutive season openers and seven-straight home openers. The last time Drexel lost its first game was the 2009 season opener against St. Joeseph’s. That game was also an overtime loss on the road.
Kent St.’s next match will be when they host Temple on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 12:00 PM as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Drexel will try to get its first win of the year as they host Illinois St. at the DAC for their home opener on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:00.