Drexel wins ugly over Georgia State

The Dragons' lead was only 18-13 at the break, but a 23-10 run at the start of the second half put away the Panthers.

Drexel and Georgia State combined for a grand total of 31 points in the first half. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer)

Exchanging a hug at half-court of the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Monday night, Drexel coach Bruiser Flint and Georgia State's Rod Barnes could only laugh.

Their teams are trademarked by playing physical, grinding styles. No finesse. Just tough, bruising basketball.

"I knew [the game] was going to be ugly," Flint said after the embrace. "It wasn't going to be pretty."

All laughing aside, no one could have predicted that Drexel's 57-33 victory would have been this ugly. Somebody had to win and the Dragons were able to improve to 13-6 overall and 5-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association, while Georgia State fell to 8-11 and 3-6.

At halftime, the Dragons led, 18-13, as the teams combined for a grand total of 31 points. The tally fell three points short of the NCAA Division I record for combined inefficiency in a half since the shot clock was introduced in 1986.

Although he doesn't recall it, Barnes was the coach of Mississippi when, on Jan. 8, 2003, the Rebels combined with South Carolina to score 28 points in the first half.

"I don't remember it," Barnes said. "That was a long time ago."

Barnes will want to forget this one, too. Quickly.

Georgia State's 33-point output set a new Drexel record for fewest points against by a Division I opponent.

The Dragons finally found some flow in the second half. They made 14 of 23 shots in the second half after sinking only 7 of 23 in the first.

Samme Givens, Gerald Colds, and Franz Massenat combined to score 21 points during a 23-10 Drexel run that broke a broken game wide open after halftime.

"We were getting good looks, but we weren't finishing," said Givens, who posted his eighth double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. "[Flint] said we had to finish because it would be a different game if we finished shots. That's what he preached at halftime."

Colds scored 15 for the Dragons, while Massenat added 10 points and Dartaye Ruffin chipped in six points and nine boards.

Georgia State, which dropped its fifth straight, shot 29.2 percent and didn't have a double-digit scorer.

The visitors sank their first field goal with 18 minutes, 39 seconds to go until halftime. Thirteen missed shots later, the Panthers made their next bucket with 5:52 left.

With 7:44 to go in the half, the Dragons had more three-second violations (two), than Georgia State had field goals (one). At that point, Drexel led by 10-3, with both teams shooting a combined 5 of 29 with 12 turnovers.

Drexel improved to 8-1 at home but now has to return to the road. The Dragons will visit James Madison on Wednesday and Hofstra on Saturday. Drexel's last road trip produced back-to-back losses to a bad William and Mary team and a good George Mason squad.

"It's survival of the fittest in the league this week," Flint said.