Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Another lackluster defensive effort sent Drexel to their fourth loss in their last five games as Tennessee State made half of their shots in a 76-66 victory down in Nashville.
The Tigers got 37 points from starting forwards Kellen Thornton (20) and Robert Covington (17), who shot a combined 16-of-27 from the floor and chipped in 12 rebounds. Tennessee State (4-5) also got 26 points from its bench, all of which came from Michael Green (11 points, 5-of-6 shooting) and Jordan Cyphers (15 points, 8-of-9 free-throws).
The Dragons (2-6), who are playing the season without sixth man and 1000-point scorer Chris Fouch, got just 11 points from their reserves, nine of which came from Tavon Allen. Kazembe Abif, who was expected to step up and play big minutes as the third forward, had another disappointing game with just two points and one rebound in 12 minutes; he came into the game averaging 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 21.3 minutes.
Drexel forward Daryl McCoy had his best game of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds in 35 minutes with just two fouls, the first time this season he’s played more than 30 minutes while committing fewer than four fouls, as well as his first game with more than four points. Also contributing in double figures for the road team were Frantz Massenat (15 points, 6-of-17 shooting) and Damion Lee, who had a team-high 18 points on 7-of-17 from the floor.
Massenat and Lee’s sub-par shooting nights set the tone for the Dragons, who shot just 38.8 percent (26-of-67) from the floor, including 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. They did win the rebound battle, 35-29, thanks to McCoy and Dartaye Ruffin (six points, 11 rebounds), and both teams had 10 turnovers.
Drexel hits the road again on Saturday when they travel to Princeton (3-4); that game will be at the Jadwin Gymnasium at 2 p.m.