ODU Falls To Drexel, 68-51
By ODU Athletics
March 4, 2012
Post-Game Press Conference:
RICHMOND, Va.- Frantz Massenat scored 20 points, Damion Lee had 17 and top-seeded Drexel won its 18th consecutive game, beating Old Dominion 68-51 Sunday to advance to the championship of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in front of a sold out crowd of 11,200 at the Richmond Coliseum.
The Dragons (27-5) used an 11-2 run early in the second half to stretch a seven-point lead to 41-25. The Monarchs got within 46-38 with 7:58 to play, but Drexel answered with a 9-2 burst over the next 1 1/2 minutes to reach its first CAA final since the 2002 season.
Drexel, looking to capture its first CAA title, advances to Monday night's championship game to face the winner of the second semifinal game between No. 2 VCU and No. 3 George Mason. It's the first appearance in the title game since 2003 for the Dragons, who won their school-record 19th consecutive game.
ODU missed 10 of its first 11 shots from the field as Drexel jumped out to an early 15-3 lead. Junior guard Chris Fouch, who finished with 16 points, knocked down two treys during the run. Cooper used a jumper to close the gap to 17-12 with 6:09 remaining until half. Drexel pushed the margin back to double-digits just before intermission, taking a 27-17 lead into the break.
The Dragons extended the lead to 41-25 as CAA Rookie of the Year Damion Lee buried a three-pointer with 16:02 remaining. Lee finished with 17 points. Old Dominion closed the margin to 46-38 on a Cooper three-point play with 7:58 to play. Lee and Massenat responded for Drexel, each with a driving layup to put the Dragons back in control.
Drexel, which won its first regular-season CAA crown, edged the Monarchs on the boards, 40-37. Senior forward Samme Givens recorded 12 points to go along with 12 rebounds for Drexel. The Dragons shot 40 percent (22-55) for the game, including 48 percent (12-25) in the second half. Drexel outscored the Monarchs 28-24 in the paint.
The Monarchs shot just 33 percent (19-57) from the floor, including 16 percent (3-18) from beyond the arc.
Drexel's appearance in the title game will be its first since falling to UNCW (70-62) in 2003.
Kent Bazemore is now second all-time at ODU with 138 career games played, tied with Frank Hassell and Darius James ('11). Ben Finney ('11) is the all-time leader with 139. His 1,387 career points puts him 22nd on ODU's all-time list. Bazemore is already second all-time in steals with 244 and 16th in career assists with 376.