Drexel holds off Elon in NIT Season Tip-Off

Drexel basketball player Chris Fouch. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Drexel basketball player Chris Fouch. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 20, 2013

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - As Elon's furious comeback attempt nearly erased a 16-point Drexel lead during Monday's opening-round NIT Season Tip-Off matchup, Dragons junior guard Damion Lee lurked in the corner of the court.

Sixth-year senior Chris Fouch led the Dragons with 22 points, but Lee made his mark on the contest, hitting a three-pointer from the right wing with just over four minutes left. That shot halted a 13-3 Elon run and sent the Dragons on their way to a 71-64 victory at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Drexel coach Bruiser Flint said Lee played his best game of the season.

"The first couple of games, I thought he was crazy," Flint said. "I thought he was losing his mind. I put an APB out for him. I told him today we didn't find him yet, but we at least know he's OK."

Playing its first game on the East Coast this season, Drexel showed early signs of jet lag. Senior guard Frantz Massenat missed two free throws on Drexel's first possession, and then the Dragons missed their next three shots from the field. But an 18-foot jumper by Lee started a 6-0 Drexel run.

Although they made just one three-pointer in the first half, the Dragons took a 33-23 lead into the break. They opened up the 16-point advantage with just over 13 minutes to play.

With Massenat and senior forward Dartaye Ruffin on the bench with four fouls, the Phoenix slowly chipped away at their deficit, pulling to within 52-50 with less than six minutes left.

The shooting of Fouch, Lee (16 points) and sophomore forward Tavon Allen (15) helped Drexel maintain its lead. Lucas Troutman led Elon with 23 points.

Flint became Drexel's career leader in coaching victories with his 214th win at the school.

Drexel (2-1) will play Rutgers, a 66-51 winner over Canisius, on Tuesday for an opportunity to play in the tournament semifinals next Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

"We want to go to New York for Thanksgiving," Flint said. "Bottom line, we want to go to New York."

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