Drexel holds off Hofstra

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Hofstra bit at Drexel's heels, clawed back after trailing by as much as 10 points and made it a game in the second half. The Pride could almost taste its first Colonial Athletic Association win of the season.

The Dragons, however, fought off the hosts in the final 8 minutes and held on for a 56-50 win at Mack Sports Complex on Long Island last night.

Drexel (13-5, 5-2 CAA) has won five straight and 11 of its last 12.

"We got lucky tonight," said Drexel coach Bruiser Flint. "We got real lucky. We played terrible. The focus wasn't real good and they almost made us pay for it."

Hofstra (6-13, 0-7) went ahead, 40-39, with less than 8 minutes remaining on two free throws by Shemiye McLendon. Chris Fouch put Drexel ahead with a three-pointer with 6:40 left, but the Pride kept coming. Hofstra's Dwan McMillan floated an oddly placed layup that hit the rim and bounced high before falling through at 5:55, tying the game, 42-42.

But Drexel's Dartaye Ruffin made a shot in the paint and hit a free throw for a 46-42 lead with 4 minutes left, and the Dragons held on despite Hofstra drawing to within one in the final half minute.

Things could have been more interesting if Hofstra's Mike Moore drew a foul instead of being called for a charge as he drove to the basket with 17 seconds left. Instead, Damion Lee made two free throws for a 54-50 Drexel cushion.

The Pride opened the contest with a 6-0 start, while Drexel recorded eight missed field goal attempts. But the visitors went on a 14-1 scoring run and took a 14-7 lead.

The Dragons' 56 points were the fewest they had scored in a win, but they held Hofstra to 39 percent shooting, offsetting their 13 turnovers.

"It's our consistency," said Drexel's Daryl McCoy, who scored six points and grabbed 11 rebounds. "We were bad with that. We have to understand we have to keep going in games. It was sloppy basketball. We get a lead and we get comfortable. We have to keep that lead going."

Fouch led the Dragons with 13 points, and Lee scored 11. Frantz Massenat recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.