On the night where Drexel honored their three seniors - Daryl McCoy, Derrick Thomas, and Chris Fouch – the Dragons sent the trio off with a convincing 62-46 win over UNC Wilmington. McCoy shined the brightest tonight with an impressive double-double, 13 points and 17 rebounds, in his final game at the DAC.
UNC Wilmington’s senior forward Keith Rendleman led the game’s scoring with 24 points on 11-for-16 shooting while also grabbing 10 rebounds the final game of his collegiate career. “He hasn’t really been on great teams, but he’s always been quietly consistent,” Bruiser Flint said of Rendleman’s career after the game. “He’s always been the guy and he’s put up some nice numbers.”
UNC Wilmington is ineligible for the CAA tournament because of low Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.
The Dragons used a combination of hustle and tenacity on the glass to pull out the victory. Drexel out-hustled the Seahawks to an 18-0 advantage in second chance points while also ending with a huge advantage in the rebounding department, 56-28. Combine McCoy’s 17 (one away from his career high) and Dartaye Ruffin’s 14 rebounds, the two forwards outrebounded the entire UNC Wilmington team (31-28).
After the game Flint was surprised at his team’s success on the boards. “One thing they do do, they’re a good rebounding team,” Flint said of UNC Wilmington. “Rendleman is as good as you’re gonna get. We had to rebound, we only shot 30-percent.”
Drexel needed every bit of the effort because the shots certainly were not falling. Even though they won by 16 points, the Dragons shot a paltry 30.6-percent. UNC Wilmington shot a bit better at 35.2-percent.
Thomas started his 120th career game for the Dragons, a Drexel school record. He contributed a 11 points in his final game at the DAC extending his streak of games scoring in double figures to 10 straight.
Both Thomas and McCoy have been extremely close over the past four year. Both starting from early on in their freshman season back in 2009-10. “We’ve been roommates three out of the four years. We’re like brothers, I call his mother my mom and he calls my mom his mom, so we’re really close.”
The win was a great way to give the seniors one last memory of the DAC before they graduate, but according to Flint, the seniors went out and took it for themselves.
“One of the things I said to the seniors was coaches always sit there and tell the other guys that we gotta make it special for the seniors. I told the seniors to make it special for yourselves. Coaches always say, ‘Guys we gotta win this for the seniors tonight.’ Yo, seniors, make it special for yourselves,” Flint said, adding, “And they did.”
In McCoy’s press conference he said, “We just wanted to put on a show for Drexel.”
That he certainly did.
As tonight’s game marked the finale of a surprisingly up and down year, finishing with an overall record of 13-17 and 9-9 in the CAA, the Dragons now carry a two game winning streak into the conference tournament. Momentum could be on their side especially with the top team in the conference, Northeastern, falling to Old Dominion earlier in the day.
Drexel will have the week off before CAA tournament play begins in Richmond. The Dragons will go into the conference tournament with a five seed and take on George Mason on Saturday March 9 at 3:30 pm.
Stat of the Night: In his final career game at the DAC, Daryl McCoy recorded a 13 point and 17 rebound double-double.
Notes: UNCW’s Keith Rendleman‘s 24 point, 10 rebound double-double was his 20th on the season which leads the entire country. …Drexel’s guards - Frantz Massenat, Damion Lee, and Derrick Thomas – combined to shoot 9-for-35 from the field (25.7-percent). … Drexel is now 2-12 when they shoot under 40-percent.
Bruiser Flint on Daryl McCoy: “Honestly, people at the school said that he would never make it when we were recruiting him. People at his high school said, ‘I don’t even know why you’re giving him a scholarship to Drexel. He got a chance, not he’s gonna graduate from college and he’s had a good career. I’m proud of him in that respect.”