Young Hawks succumb to Dragons' muscle

Posted: December 02, 2010

Basketball is a game of skill and precision, but it's also a game of contact, so it helps to have a few players with some muscle on their frames.

St. Joseph's learned a hard lesson in physical play Wednesday in its first visit to Drexel's Daskalakis Athletic Center since 1992.

Until coach Phil Martelli's freshman-dominated team gets a full year in the weight room, the Hawks (3-3) are going to be vulnerable against bulkier clubs, which was evident in their 62-50 loss to the Dragons.

St. Joe's modest three-game winning streak came to an end primarily because they got outmuscled, particularly by Daryl McCoy, a 6-foot-9, 270-pound sophomore. For much of the night, McCoy stood in the lane like an oak tree, pulling down rebound after rebound after so many missed shots by the Hawks.

With McCoy dominating the lane, St. Joe's was held to two second-chance points. Meanwhile, Drexel (4-1) scored 17 on second attempts. McCoy gathered 18 rebounds, a number made more remarkable by the fact that the entire St. Joe's team had 22. Overall, Drexel outrebounded St. Joe's, 44-22.

And it's not going to get any easier for the young Hawks. They play 12th-ranked Villanova Friday at the Pavilion and, after a trip to Princeton on Sunday, Minnesota, brawny and ranked No. 16, plays at Hawk Hill on Wednesday.

With wide bodies in McCoy, Dartaye Ruffin and Samme Givens, the Dragons were able to keep 6-9 freshman C.J. Aiken away from the basket for most of the game. The Drexel trio had 18 of the team's 23 rebounds in the first half, and the Dragons had five more second-chance points.

Drexel went into the game outrebounding its opponents by an average of 13 a game.

Even though they got crushed on the boards in the first half, outrebounded by 23-11, the Hawks were down by only 31-28 at the break. Their best stretch came midway through the half, when they turned a 17-13 deficit into a 23-18 advantage with a 10-1 run.

St. Joe's has only two seniors, and one of them, guard Charloy Bentley, came off the bench and got the surge going with a basket from the lane followed by two free throws. Aiken's dunk off a nice pass from Langston Galloway gave St. Joe's its biggest lead of the half before Chris Fouch scored seven of Drexel's final 11 points of the half.

Galloway, the Atlantic Ten Conference rookie of the week, went into the game after shooting 14 for 17 in last week's wins over Fairfield and Rutgers, including 5 for 6 from three-point distance.


Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com.

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