Boston, Mass. – Dartaye Ruffin had a double-double but it wasn't enough as Northeastern defeated the Dragons, 59-52, on Saturday evening in Matthews Arena.
The Huskies (14-8, 9-1) lead was just one point at 43-42 after Derrick Thomas knocked down a three-pointer. However, Northeastern scored eight straight points as Drexel (9-13, 5-5) came away with three empty possessions. The Dragons couldn't get any closer the rest of the way as the Huskies took care of business at the free throw line. Northeastern made its first 20 free throws in the game and was aided by an intentional foul call on Damion Lee in the last few minutes. Drexel shot just 31 percent in the second half as the Huskies swept the season series from the Dragons.
For the second straight night on the road, the Dragons struggled on the offensive end in the early going. Drexel had turnovers on its first three possessions and the Huskies answered with the first 10 points of the game. The Dragons survived the rough start and played much better defense the rest of the period. The Huskies had two stretches of more than five minutes without a field goal in the first half as Drexel was able to take a brief lead in the closing seconds. Dartaye Ruffin scored on a short hook shot with :20 left to give DU a 24-22 lead before Jonathan Lee ended the half with a lay-up just before the buzzer to tie it at 24-24.
Ruffin had one of his best games of the season, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor. He finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Thomas, who has been playing much better as of late, led Drexel with 13 points. Drexel's two top scorers, Damion Lee and Frantz Massenat, were held to seven and 10 points respectively. Lee was in foul trouble early, while Massenat fouled out with a little more than three minutes to play. The Dragons controlled the boards (35-25) as both Ruffin and McCoy had 11 rebounds. However, the Dragons 18 offensive boards led to just 13 second chance points.
Jonathan Lee led the Huskies with 17 points. Joel Smith added 14 as the Huskies maintained a three game lead over their nearest competitor in the CAA.
After playing four games in eight days, the Dragons will finally get some down time. Drexel is off until Thursday night, when Old Dominion comes to the DAC for a 7 p.m. game that can be seen live on the NBC Sports Network.