Bobcats cannot slay the Dragons

By on December 15, 2004

Quinnipiac came into Philadelphia for the second time this season, this time for a less high profile game, as they visited Drexel to complete the third game of the three game series between the two teams.

The Bobcats won the first match-up, during the 2002-03 season, a 81-78 win at home. The Dragons returned the favor last season in Philadelphia, a 89-72 victory.

Quinnipiac visited the city of brotherly love back on Nov. 16 when they lost to the University of Pennsylvania, 74-60, in the first round of the pre-season NIT.

Coming into the game, the Bobcats were 4-2 (1-0 NEC) and had won three straight games, including the NEC opener at Robert Morris, a 88-86 win; thanks to a clutch three-pointer by junior guard Craig Benson, who nailed the tray in front of the QU bench as time expired.

The Dragons were 2-3 (0-1 CAA) coming into the game, led by senior guard Phil Goss who was averaging 15.8 PPG.

The ‘Cats were down 10 at the end of the first 20 minutes, after failing to pull in a defensive rebound which would have given them the last shot of the half. It was the second time this year that the Quinnipiac shot below 25% in the first half.

It was evident in the first half that Quinnipiac is not comfortable in the half court set, running their motion offense every time down the floor and not creating any type of shot. The offense was struggling, only shooting 8 of 35 (23%) from the field, and only attempted two free throws, both by junior Kevin Jolley. The ‘Cats were 1 of 11 from three-point land, a place where they live and die from. Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint said he planned on pressing the ‘Cats offense and not allow them to run out on fast breaks. The strategy worked, as Quinnipiac only scored 19 points in the opening half.

Senior Rob Monroe, undoubtedly the team’s best player, was held to no points in the first half.

The Dragons came out in the second half blocking the first three QU shots in back-to-back possessions, making it difficult for Quinnipiac to take the ball into the paint and score. The ‘Cats started to push the ball as much as they could early in the second half in hopes of making a run to cut the Drexel lead. They started the second half 3 of 10 from the field, all three field goals being from beyond the arc; two by Monroe and one by sophomore guard Van Crafton.

Down 10 with 2 minutes to go, QU decided to play it out and not foul on the Dragons’ possession. After holding Drexel scoreless, Monroe scrabbled on a lose ball to cause a tie up; giving Quinnipiac the ball back. On the impending inbounds play, Crafton nailed a three to cut the lead to seven with just over a minute left to play. As commentator Bill Mecca was saying the Bobcats had to foul, the defense drifted back and allowed the Dragons to drain the clock without a foul. Drexel was unable to get a shot off and was called for a 35 second violation. The ‘Cats came down the floor and held the ball, looking as though they did not know what to do until Monroe drove to the basket with around :11 to play. The ball was knocked out of bounds and QU would not score again. Drexel walked away with a 66-59 win.

The poor clock management at the end of the game cost Quinnipiac a chance to pick up the win and extend their winning streak to four games. Drexel has shown the blueprint on how to defeat Quinnipiac; pressure the ball in the half court and do not let the ‘Cats get transition points.


About Matt Lefebvre