The Triangle - The Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University

Men’s basketball atop the CAA; win 10 consecutive

Drexel freshman guard Damion Lee goes up for a shot at the DAC during the Dragons 68-48 win over Georgia State Jan. 25.

From Feb. 13, 1988 until Feb. 4, 1989, the University of Richmond Spiders, then members of the Colonial Athletic Association, won 17 consecutive regular-season conference matchups. That is the CAA’s longest standing winning streak, although the Spiders are now members of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

After defeating the University of Delaware at home Jan. 28 and Northeastern University on the road Feb. 1, the Drexel men’s basketball team’s conference, and overall, win streak stands at 10 games. The streak will presumably reach 11 consecutive victories, assuming the Dragons’ next opponent, Towson, continues its abysmal losing habit, amassing only one victory so far this season. The 10 wins also place Drexel in a four-way tie with the logjam that is first place in the CAA.

Before preparing for their Feb. 4 road matchup with the Tigers, the Dragons were focusing on their previous two opponents: the Blue Hens and the Huskies.

Drexel (18-5, 10-2 CAA) welcomed Delaware (10-12, 6-6 CAA) to the DAC for the Dragons’ last home game until Feb. 11, when Hofstra University visits Philadelphia. The game was televised on The Comcast Network and was also played in front another packed house — something that has become a theme for Drexel men’s games this season.

Senior forward Samme Givens was the star of the game as he recorded a double-double with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. Also chipping in for Drexel was sophomore point guard Frantz Massenat as he recorded 19 points and dished out five dimes. Juniors Chris Fouch (10 points) and Daryl McCoy (11 rebounds) also played key roles for the Dragons in their 71-55 victory over the Blue Hens.

Drexel, which ranks No. 17 in the NCAA in rebound margin, outworked Delaware on the boards 41-28. Not only that, but they also held the Blue Hens to 1-for-9 (11.1 percent) from behind the arc, which has been a theme all season for the Dragons, who rank No. 1 in the NCAA in three-point defense (24.8 percent). Another key statistic that helped the Dragons to the win was their outstanding free-throw shooting (79.2 percent), and that is another uncharacteristic skill for Drexel, which, in recent years, has been near the bottom of the CAA in that category before leading the conference this season — 2011-12: 73.4 percent, first of 12; 2010-11: 61.6, 11th of 12; 2009-10: 65.7, ninth of 12; 2008-09: 67.2, seventh of 12.

After the statistical domination of Delaware at the DAC, the Dragons headed north to Boston for a matchup against the Huskies (11-11, 7-5 CAA). Drexel came away with the 61-53 victory, but the game was a difficult one for the Dragons as they were never really able to pull away. Despite the level of competition from Northeastern, Drexel freshman guard Damion Lee was able to have his teammates rally around him for the victory.

Lee scored a career-high and game-high 25 points, going 11-13 from the charity stripe and adding eight rebounds. Drexel only managed 28 rebounds but outrebounded the Huskies by 10 for another double-digit rebounding margin.

Other notable action around the CAA Feb. 1 included Virginia Commonwealth University and George Mason University. The Rams (19-5, 10-2 CAA) won their eighth consecutive game as they defeated The College of William & Mary 87-78, earning their 10th conference win, good enough to tie them with the Dragons for first place in the conference. The Patriots matched up with the Blue Hens as well, losing late, 65-60, leaving them at 10 conference wins on the season and giving them just their second CAA loss — the first coming at the hands of Drexel at the DAC Jan. 12 on ESPNU.

The last important CAA action took place Feb. 2 as Old Dominion University defeated James Madison University in at home in Norfolk, Va. 80-71 to earn their 10th conference win of the season as well, completing the first-place foursome atop the CAA standings.

Now in possession of first place in the CAA, the Dragons will travel to Towson, Md. Feb. 4 to face the last-place Tigers (1-23, 1-11 CAA).