Drexel loses again at home, falling to George Mason
Bruiser Flint has found a lot of reasons to shrug during Drexel's disappointing season, and that happened again Thursday night with the Dragons' dismal defensive performance late against George Mason.
The Patriots scored on their final nine possessions, including the go-ahead three-pointer by Corey Edwards with 1 minute, 57 seconds to play, to take a 68-62 victory over the Dragons in a Colonial Athletic Association game at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. George Mason made 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch.
The loss for Drexel (10-15, 6-7 CAA) was its eighth in 11 home games this season, and dropped its conference record at home to 2-5. The Dragons defense had no answers for the Patriots (15-10, 8-5), who shot 52.0 percent from the floor in the second half.
"Guys have got to make plays in the heat of the game," Flint said. "You can't miss foul shots. You can't give up layups. Honestly, that's how it's been all season. In the heat of the game, you've got to make a play at either end of the floor.
"We gave up two baskets on out-of-bounds plays, which was huge because there were five seconds on the shot clock both times."
The Dragons led by as many as eight early in the second half, but the Patriots chipped away at the deficit and took a 43-42 lead on two free throws by Vertrail Vaughns with 8:58 to play. Damion Lee's conventional three-point play put Drexel back in front, but Bryon Allen's hook tied the score at 45 with 6:42 remaining.
Deadlocks ensued at 47, 49, 51, and 53. Lee knocked down a three at the 2:24 mark to give Drexel its last lead at 56-55. Edwards' three-ball put George Mason up for good.
Flint was especially annoyed at a basket by a cutting Sherrod Wright off an out-of-bounds play with 1:07 to play.
"That was the biggest play," he said. "We played no defense. And they made big baskets when they needed them. It wasn't just that we didn't guard them, they made big baskets when they needed it."
Lee and Derrick Thomas each scored 16 points for Drexel, but Flint criticized Lee for his defense late.
"He gave up two big baskets," he said. "Forget his offense. Dude, we need you to stop somebody."
The Patriots placed four players in double figures. Imhotep Charter graduate Erik Copes, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, went for 12 points and eight rebounds and seems to be playing without pain after undergoing hip surgery last April.
"He didn't play all summer and was cleared to play Oct. 15," said Patriots coach Paul Hewitt, a former Villanova assistant. "The last three weeks marks the first time he hasn't had any tightness or soreness in his hip."
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