Rashann London had 20 points, but Drexel fell to Monmouth on Saturday. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Jeff Griffith (@Jeff_Griffith21)
After having suffered two disappointing losses including a one-point defeat to crosstown foe Saint Joseph’s, Drexel entered the second weekend of the 2015-16 season without a victory on its resume.
It’s safe to say the Dragons needed a win pretty badly, with a tough several weeks looming that will feature trips to Alaska, La Salle, South Carolina, and the Palestra to take on Penn State.
For a little while, it looked as though the Dragons may have exactly what they needed, leading by six at the half and still holding a one-point lead with 12 minutes left.
But unfortunately for the Dragons (0-3), that vision disintegrated right before their eyes as Monmouth took over down the stretch, and they fell to the Hawks, 82-74.
“We just imploded,” said Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint. “I told the guys, it’s frustrating, because we killed ourselves. We’ve lost three games because of us. And they’re a good team, I give the teams that we’ve played credit. The mistakes that you make, they crush you on them. They do, and they have been, and that’s what they’ve been doing to us.”
“We’ve pick a few minutes to implode, and we did that, and they’re good enough to take advantage of that,” he added.
With 11 minutes remaining Drexel only trailed 54-53, but four minutes and one 15-5 Monmouth run later, the Hawks’ lead had been augmented to 69-58 and all of the wind seemed to have been taken out of Drexel’s sails, for the third straight game.
The Dragons even pulled within six with just more than three minutes to go and seemed to have some life, but turned the ball over on the next two possessions and were back down by double-digits nearly instantly.
Drexel’s inability to make 3-pointers seemed to be an achilles heel against Monmouth; the Dragons shot a lousy 7-of-22 from long distance, while the Hawks (2-1) made nearly half of their threes.
Justin Robinson, Monmouth’s 5-foot-8 point guard, had an outstanding game, dropping 28 points for the second straight game. Robinson also provided four assists for the Hawks.
Twenty of his points came in the second half, as part of Monmouth’s running away from Drexel.
“Honestly, the way the new rules are, a guy like him can score a lot of points,” Flint said of Robinson. “..He’s good enough to be a scorer anyway, so now with no five seconds, no getting banged off of ball screens, that’s perfect for him. He’s tough to guard that way.”
A bright spot in yet another tough loss for the Dragons was the play of Rodney Williams, a junior forward, who had his best game so far with 16 points. It took him a bit to get going, but once he found his confidence, he was able to score the ball well as the game progressed.
Despite Williams’ nice game, Rashann London’s twenty points, and his team’s ability to put up 70 points on the day, the problems for the Flint’s Dragons lie far beyond any specific statistics or plays that happen on the court.
“My team never scores 70-some points, offense isn’t our problem,” he said. “Our problem is, we play really stupid sometimes. We play really bad basketball. We play good defense for a while, play good offense for a while, but then we just shut it off and play bad defense, play bad offense. Now what happens, we play it team who’s good enough to beat you if you play that way. We’ve played three teams that way.
“It’s been frustrating. I told the guys, last year I knew we were going to have our problems. This year, I don’t get it.”