PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/7/2019 – The Drexel Dragons limited the UNCW Seahawks well under their scoring average to earn a 69 – 57 win at the DAC. For the game UNCW made 38% from the field, making 24 of 63 and got only two baskets from beyond the arc. Drexel was better getting 43.6% and 8 from distance to beat a team that put up 97 points in their first meeting just under a month ago.
“When you see the field goal percentage defense, thirty eight is a great number,” said Drexel Coach Zach Spiker. “Anytime you defend thirty eight percent it gives you a chance to get a win without playing your best offensively. ”
“To hold them to 57, they got that in the second half against us there.”
On the boards was a big key as UNCW is the best rebounding team in the CAA. The Dragons tied them in rebounding with each team getting 37. Individually Devontae Cacock had 9, he averages 12 which he got in the first game.
“To limit Cacock to nine rebounds is a big deal,” Spiker said. “If you can win the rebounding battle, it leads to winning.”
James Butler pulled down 15 rebounds for the hosts, one shy of his career-high.
“The numbers speak for itself,” Spike said about the contribution of Butler. “He down there under duress, getting the rebound, and trying to put it back up there. There was no doubt about it. Sometimes it falls to the guy in the scrum. He is going up and grabbing the rebound. It makes us a better defensive team.”
The first half was even with both teams going to the basket, and each team had one three-pointer. That changed in the second half. Drexel made three from distance in a span of 1:01, two by Trevor John and one by Alihan Demir to stretch the lead to 32 – 24.
“We extended the lead and it gives us confidence,” said Demir about the run. “That was crucial.”
UNCW erased that lead and went in front 46 – 45 midway through the second half. The Dragons answered with a traditional three-point play by Demir and a shot from beyond the arc by Coletrane Washington. Butler finished the run with 2 free throws to put Drexel ahead by 55 – 48. UNCW would get no closer than five after that.
Demir lead Drexel with a game-high 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Butler recorded a double-double adding 11 points to his total. It was his fifth of the season. John hit four three-pointers scoring 14 points. Point guard Cameron Wynter handed out a game-high 8 assists.
Cacock came in the game averaging 15 points per game. He matched his scoring average. Jaylen Sims added 11 points and 7 rebounds. Ty Gadsden scored 2 points, under his season average.
Drexel improves to 12 – 13 overall by winning four of their last six games. The Blue and Gold evened their CAA record at 6, and is challenging Delaware for fourth place in the league, their next opponent. UNCW has lost six of their last seven to fall to 8 – 17, 4 – 8 in CAA play.
Written By: Glenn Papazian