The coaches and players at Drexel said the right things after their record-setting comeback against Delaware on Thursday.
Certainly, the Dragons were pleased with the victory, but a 34-point deficit isn’t something a team wants to get into the habit of having to overcome.
On Saturday, it was reemphasized to the Dragons that falling behind by any sizable deficit isn’t a reliable formula for producing a victory.
It’s hard to generate the energy to fight back and then if a team manages to catch up, it’s typically too spent to carry things through.
Drexel didn’t need a historic comeback against North Carolina-Wilmington on Saturday at the Daskalakis Center but it did find itself in a big deficit early.
The Dragons managed to catch up and even take the lead, but ultimately ended the regular season with an 83-82 loss on Senior Day.
Jordon Talley made a jumper with 9 seconds remaining and then Sammy Mojica could not tip in a miss by Kurk Lee at the buzzer as Drexel (12-19, 6-12 Colonial Athletic Association) lost for the fourth time in five games.
Talley scored 21 for the Seahawks (10-20, 7-11). Ty Taylor had 23 points and Devontae Cook scored 16 with 23 rebounds.
The loss ended the Dragons’ chances of finishing in the top six of the CAA and will now play an opening-round game in the CAA tournament, which begins on Saturday in Charleston, S.C.
Had Drexel finished in sixth place, it would have received a bye into the quarterfinals.
“If you can, you pick to play three,” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said of the CAA tournament, “but there are teams that have won four and I believe even five in the conference tournament.
“We’re still a one-bid [NCAA tournament] league. I hope that changes soon. Still, outside of the regular-season title, you’re playing for seeding in the tournament and your best path. Now everybody has three or four games to believe they can make it happen.”
Because it was Senior Day, Spiker gave seniors Tyshawn Myles and Miles Overton rare starts. Myles only had three previous starts and Overton had only played in seven games because of injury.
Drexel got off to a slow start by missing 13 of its first 14 shots and trailed, 18-5, by the time four minutes had been played.
The Dragons did not get their first lead until there were about 17 ½ minutes left in the game.
“When you play guys on Senior Night sometimes your rotations get a little whacky,” Spiker said. “You honor your seniors if you can, but sometimes it does put you in situations you are not used to. I chose to do that.”
Senior Austin Williams had 14 rebounds and seven points. Mojica had seven points while Myles scored four with five rebounds with Overton adding five points.
Tramaine Isabell, a junior, led the Dragons with 29 points and added eight rebounds and six assists, and sophomore Alihan Demir scored 16.