Iona hands banged-up Drexel its fifth straight loss
Injuries have caused a dual problem for Drexel this season. The Dragons haven't found any rhythm because of a lack of regular work together in practice. Another hangup, according to coach Bruiser Flint, is the mental toll the shorthanded situation has taken on his players.
Injuries have caused a dual problem for Drexel this season.
The Dragons haven't found any rhythm because of a lack of regular work together in practice. Another hangup, according to coach Bruiser Flint, is the mental toll the shorthanded situation has taken on his players.
The Dragons dressed just nine players and finished with eight Sunday in an 81-62 loss to Iona at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
"We play like we don't practice - and we don't," Flint said. "I hate to say it, but it's true. We look bad out there."
The Dragons (2-9) struggled at both ends against the high-powered Gaels (8-4), who shot 48.4 percent from the field. Offensively, Tavon Allen and Damion Lee scored 18 points apiece, but the rest of the Dragons were 9 for 35 (25.7 percent) from the field.
Flint said the Dragons will continue to flounder until the available players forget who is not there and focus on who is.
"We have to start looking at everybody else and saying, 'This is what we have. Let's go,' " Flint said. "That's what I've been talking to them about. 'Guys, we can't worry about those guys [on the bench].' We haven't been able to do it."
A.J. English scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Gaels. English entered the game leading the nation in scoring at 23.4 points per game.
It was the fifth consecutive defeat for the Dragons, who began this forgettable stretch with a 54-52 home loss to Division II University of the Sciences on Dec. 4.
Drexel big man Rodney Williams did not return after he hurt his right ankle with eight minutes remaining. Flint indicated that Williams should be OK.
Drexel trailed by 11 points at the break and got as close as seven, 52-45, with 12 minutes, 55 seconds remaining on Lee's two free throws. But Iona scored 10 straight points, and the 17-point deficit was far too great for the Dragons to overcome.
The Dragons got a scare before Lee's free throws when the junior guard came down hard on his right knee. He sat out all but five games last season because of a knee injury. Fortunately for Drexel, Lee stayed in.
The Dragons have been playing without projected starters Major Canady (ankle) and Kaz Abif (knee), who were injured before the season. They got some good news Sunday when freshman Austin Williams returned to action for the first time since injuring his left foot in practice after the season opener. But Drexel also announced that reserve big man Sooren Derboghosian (knee) is out indefinitely.