Just like old times for Dragons Hot shooting snaps skid against former America East foes

Posted: January 24, 2002

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Drexel broke a two-game losing streak against former America East rivals with an 84-74 victory over Hofstra last night.

The Dragons joined the Colonial Athletic Association along with Delaware, Towson and Hofstra before this season. They lost to Delaware on Saturday and Towson on Jan. 12. In between, the Dragons beat James Madison.

Last night, Drexel (9-9, 6-3) shot 64 percent in the second half and overcame a 13-point deficit in the first half to secure the victory.

Junior center Robert Battle led four Dragons in double figures with 20 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

Drexel, however, was uncharacteristically outrebounded by the Pride, 41-34.

"They killed us on the boards," coach Bruiser Flint said. "They played with a lot more intensity than we did."

Hofstra (8-11, 3-5) was led by junior guard Rick Apodaca, who had 22 points and six rebounds.

Hofstra opened the game with a 12-4 run, using fullcourt pressure defense and aggressive rebounding to gain the advantage. After the first media timeout, the Pride extended its lead to 21-8.

Rebounding was the key to Hofstra's first-half success. The Pride outrebounded Drexel, 25-15, including 9-4 on the offensive boards.

Drexel looked off-balance and sloppy in the opening minutes, choosing poor shots and missing most of them.

"We came out sluggish," said freshman guard Phil Goss, who finished with 20 points.

The Dragons fought back, however, tying the game at 27 with 5:39 remaining. Drexel found its touch from beyond the arc, hitting five three-pointers while outscoring Hofstra by 27-13 to close out the half. Drexel went to the locker room with a 35-34 lead.

The second half belonged to Drexel. The Dragons were 5-for-8 from the beyond the arc as part of their 64 percent shooting performance. Sophomore guard Tim Whitworth scored 17 of his 18 points in the second half.

Drexel showed more patience on offense, working the ball inside to Battle and freshman center Sean Brooks and capitalizing on double teams. Battle, who had three assists, showed good court sense as he continuously found open teammates on the perimeter.

Hofstra closed to within four points, 54-50, at the 11:11 mark, but it would get no closer. The Dragons extended their lead to 15 points, and survived a late flurry of jump shots by Apodaca to secure the victory.

"We've got some good wins on the road," Flint said.

The Dragons return home to face George Mason on Saturday at the Daskalakis Center. *

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