MBB: Late Rally Lifts Drexel Past Hofstra
Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
Hempstead, NY - Graduate forward Zeke Upshaw led four Hofstra players in double-figures, but Drexel pulled away in the final two minutes for a 77-74 Colonial Athletic Association win Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex.
Hofstra fell to 7-15 overall and 3-4 in the CAA, while Drexel improved to 11-9 overall and 3-4 in league action.
Drexel raced out to an 8-0 lead two minutes into the game behind back-to-back three pointers from Chris Fouch and Frantz Massenat, and a jumper from Rodney Williams. The Pride would battle back and get to within five, 11-6, with 15:52 remaining on a jumper from freshman forward Jamall Robinson. After Drexel went back up by nine, 20-11, the Pride scored five unanswered on a three-pointer from graduate guard Dion Nesmith and a resounding dunk from junior forward Moussa Kone to make it a four point game at 20-16 with 10:30 remaining.
The Dragons then went on a 7-0 run capped off by a three-pointer from Massenat with 7:38 to go for a 27-16 lead, their largest of the half. Hofstra once again answered with an 11-2 run to pull within two, 29-27, with 3:03 remaining. Upshaw scored seven of the points in the run, while Kone had the other four. Drexel would close out the half on an 11-5 run to take a 40-32 advantage at halftime. Massenat had two more three-pointers in the run, while Fouch added a three-ball of his own. Drexel would connect on eighth three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.
Hofstra would open the second half with a 7-1 scoring advantage to get back to within two at 41-39 with 18:45 to go on a three-point play from Upshaw. A three-pointer from Upshaw pulled Hofstra to within one, 45-44, with 15:20 to play. Hofstra would tie the score at 47 on a free throw from sophomore forward Darren Payen with 13:58 to go and then took its first lead of the game, 50-47, on a corner three-pointer from Robinson with 13:37 to go. The basket capped an 18-7 run for the Pride.
Drexel would score five unanswered points to retake the lead. A Fouch jumper cut the Pride lead to one and following a turnover, Massenat converted a three-point play to give the Dragons a 52-50 edge. Hofstra came right back on its next possession and retook the lead, 53-52, on a three-point play from Upshaw. Dartaye Ruffin’s layup put the Dragons back up, 54-53, before consecutive three’s from Robinson and freshman Chris Jenkins gave the Pride their biggest lead of the evening at 59-54 with 8:57 to play.
The Dragons used a 7-1 run to take the lead back, 61-60, on a Massenat’s sixth three-pointer of the game with 6:08 remaining. But Nesmith would knot the game back up at 61 with a free throw with 5:49 left. Two more Nesmith free throws put the Pride back up before Fouch responded with a three-pointer to give Drexel the lead once again, 64-63.
The teams would trade the lead two more times before Drexel took the lead for good, 68-66, on a Massenat layup with 2:08 to play. The Dragons would go up by five, 71-66, before Upshaw converted a pair of free throws with 45 seconds left to get Hofstra within three, 71-68. The Pride would get within two, 76-74, on a three-pointer from Nesmith with six seconds left. Massenat then hit one of two free throws and Hofstra’s desperation three-pointer at the buzzer was no good.
Upshaw’s 27 points was the fifth time this season he has eclipsed 25 points in a game. He was joined in double-figures by Robinson with 15 points, Nesmith with 13 and Kone with 10. Robinson would also add a season-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Nesmith would also contribute eight assists before fouling out in the final minute.
Massenat led all scorers with a career-high 32 points and added nine assists. Fouch was the only other Dragon in double-figures with 19 points. Ruffin pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Hofstra is back in action Saturday at 4 p.m. at College of Charleston.