Zach Drapkin (@ZachDrapkin)
Though they blew a double-digit second-half lead with under a minute to go in regulation, the Drexel Dragons escaped Hofstra with an 81-80 overtime win at home on Thursday night.
After an even first eight minutes, Drexel scored 12 unanswered in a four-minute span to take a 24-13 lead. Sammy Mojica and Rodney Williams were clicking early on, and the two combined for 23 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the first half as the Dragons went into the break with a 44-31 lead. The shots just did not fall for Hofstra in the opening 20 minutes, as the Pride ended the half with a 34.3% clip from field.
Drexel hit a dry spell with 14 minutes remaining into the second half, going scoreless for a six-minute stretch and allowing Hofstra to mount a 12-0 run and cut the lead to a single point, 55-54. Justin Wright-Foreman tied the game up at 58 with six minutes to go, and after a back-and-forth battle the next five minutes, he scored a layup to give Hofstra its first lead since the 12-minute mark of the first half, 69-68, with 55 seconds left in regulation. Miles Overton split a pair from the foul line to knot things up at 69, and after Hofstra fumbled the ball out of bounds with 2.8 seconds to play, Overton’s desperation attempt from midcourt didn’t fall, sending the game into overtime.
Though Drexel began the extra period with a 74-71 lead, Hofstra went on an 8-2 run to take a 79-76 lead with 1:28 remaining. The Dragons were not finished, however, as Williams hit a bucket to cut the lead to one, and after Wright-Foreman split a pair of free throws, Kurk Lee knocked down a clutch three-pointer to put Drexel up one with 21 seconds to go. On the final possession, Wright-Foreman drove into the lane, and after his initial attempt rimmed out, he and his teammates missed not one, not two, but three tip-ins. The ball caromed out to Brian Bernardi, who fired up one last hope from beyond the arc and missed, Drexel escaping with a narrow one-point victory.
Williams led Drexel with a solid all-around performance of 22 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. The Dragons also got a solid contribution from Lee, all of whose 17 points came in the second half and overtime. Mojica finished with 16 points and four rebounds as well on the night.
It was a big night for Wright-Foreman, who scored a game-high 30 points to lead Hofstra. Bernardi added 14 points for the Pride, Deron Powers had 11 points and five assists, and Rokas Gustys recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
13: Down the stretch, free throws were the deciding factor, as Hofstra missed numerous attempts from the foul line in the second half and overtime which cost them the game. The Pride finished the game with 13 misses from the stripe, going 15-of-28 on free throws for the contest.
4: With a chance to win the game down by a point with 17 seconds remaining in overtime, Hofstra missed four shot attempts on its final possession, which gave the Dragons the W.
Drexel (8-13, 2-6 CAA) vs Charleston (16-6, 7-2 CAA) -- Sat., Jan. 28, 2 PM
Hofstra (10-12, 2-7 CAA) vs Elon (13-9, 5-4 CAA) -- Sat., Jan. 28, 4 PM