Drexel beats JMU for 12th straight win

Posted: February 09, 2012

HARRISONBURG, Va. - Mike Connors, an assistant coach for Drexel, shouted so loud, he could be heard in the far corners of the Convocation Center.

"Stop the three!" he hollered to the Dragons' defenders after Drexel took a 40-32 lead with 14 minutes left to play against host James Madison.

The Dukes came down the court and, yes, hit a three-pointer to make it 40-35. The Dragons, among the top teams in the country in defending the three-pointer, gave up nine of 22 from long range, but still came away with a 63-56 victory for their 12th straight win.

Drexel improved to 20-5 and 12-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association and remained in a tie with George Mason and VCU for the league lead. The Dukes, who fell to 10-16, 3-11, rely on the three-pointer, and they started and ended last night's game with a barrage of long shots.

But Bruiser Flint, the head coach for the Dragons, noted that his team was able to defend the trey when needed.

"I felt we stopped them at good parts of the game" on the long shots, Flint said. "It was a little sluggish out there early on. We played better in the second half. We were able to pull it out at the end."

Sophomore point guard Frantz Massenat, who had a career-high 25 points in a win at Towson Saturday, had 16 points, two assists and only one turnover as he played all 40 minutes. Samme Givens had another double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Damion Lee, a freshman, had 12 points.

"He wants me to come ready," Massenat said of Flint, whose club won its sixth straight CAA road game. "He tells me the importance of being a floor general."

Givens, among the best in CAA history in rebounds, had only six points in the first half.

"He played much better in the second half," Flint said of Givens, whose tip-in gave Drexel a 63-52 lead with 1:45 to play.

JMU took an 8-0 lead, thanks to a pair of three-pointers by A.J. Davis, who finished with a team-high 13 points. The Dragons held JMU guard Humpty Hitchens to 11 points on four of 13 shots from the field.

The Dukes were five of 12 from three-point range in the first half but Drexel did a good job defending the long shot early in the second half. JMU's Devon Moore made a three-pointer with 3:38 to go in the game to cut the lead to 57-50, but Lee hit two free throws to make it 59-50 and Givens made two free throws to make it 61-50 with 3 minutes left to play. JMU cut the lead to the final margin on a basket by Hitchens with 4 seconds to go.

Drexel led, 40-35, early in the second half before going on an 11-2 run to take a 51-37 lead on a dunk by reserve Chris Fouch with 8:49 left in the game.

"We just started focusing on defense and getting stops," said Massenat, who made two of three free throws after he entered the game with a streak of 33 made in a row.

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