An airtight defensive showdown was sealed by a Damion Lee three-pointer with 17.1 seconds to play, giving the Dragons a 53-51 win at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Jan. 24.
Lee led all scorers with 21 points on five-of-13 shooting, going seven-of-eight from the free throw line and four of nine from deep.
After clawing its way back from an underwhelming first half, a 7-0 run comprising of two free throws, a steal, a give-and-go, a layup, and a three-pointer gave Drexel its first lead since early in the first half, 37-36.
For some time, the Cougars’ attack from deep appeared to be too much for the Dragons to handle in the end. Charleston knocked down nine threes on the afternoon, including a number in crucial second-half situations.
In the final minutes of the second half, the teams devolved into matching each other with three-point attempts.
The Dragons caught the last laugh from deep.
After a fumbled first try, the Dragons came out of a called timeout and found Lee, half-covered, on the right wing. Lee calmly rose up and hit the dagger to give the Dragons the win.
The first 20 minutes centered around the two squads’ best players, Charleston’s Barry and Drexel’s Lee.
Barry scored 13 on five-of-10 shooting, while Lee notched 12 while going three-of-six from the field. The two combined for exactly half of the total points in the first half, going back and forth. Both hit three shots from behind the arc.
Lee hit three of the Dragons’ five field goals in what was otherwise a dismal first half from the field for Drexel. Lee’s teammates knocked down just two of 15 field goal attempts.
The Dragons kept themselves in it from the free throw line, hitting nine of 10 at the charity stripe.
Charleston owned the inside game from the tip, out-rebounding Drexel, 17-11, and scoring 10 points in the paint in the first half. Cougars forward Adjehi Baru scored four points and grabbed four boards before the break.
Performance of the night
Damion Lee made plays all over the floor, including the game winning shot. The junior led the Dragons’ offense once again. Lee scored 21 points, knocking down seven of eight attempts from the free throw line, and tacked on five rebounds and three assists.
He singlehandedly kept Drexel within punching distance in the first half, scoring 12 of the Dragons’ 22 points in the first stanza.
Inside the box score
Charleston picked up 30 rebounds to Drexel’s 26.
Drexel limited its turnovers, committing just five to Charleston’s 11, and scored 14 points off the Cougars’ turnovers.
Drexel (5-14, 3-5) hosts Northeastern University (14-6, 6-1) Jan. 28 at 7:00 pm.
Charleston (6-15, 1-7) stays on the road and travels to Towson University (9-11, 2-5) Jan. 29 at 7:00 pm.