AT THE BEGINNING of the second half of Drexel's Sunday afternoon matchup with Division III Kean University, the Dragons seemed to forget what basket they were supposed to be defending, which allowed an uncontested layup by the Cougars' Mike Summerer.
That was about the only thing that did not go Drexel's way in a 84-44 blowout win at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Kean's (0-10) first basket of the game took 12 attempts and just under seven minutes to drop. In that time, Drexel had built a 13-0 lead, which was just the beginning of the carnage. The Dragons outmatched and overpowered the Cougars in every aspect of the game, managing a rate of 1.254 points per possession.
"You game plan every game," Drexel coach Zach Spiker said. "We played a few things out and really tried some different things that we may or may not use and evaluate.
"There's still a lot of things we can clean up and a lot of things we need to do better to be successful in the Colonial, in conference play, and we don't have much time left to do it."
Despite having an evident size advantage down low, Drexel (5-6) took 21 shots from beyond the arc in the first half, connecting on eight. Sammy Mojica led the way in the first half with 12 points, with Kari Jonsson right behind him with 11, nine of them coming via the deep ball.
The second half was more surgical for Spiker's team. They made a more focused effort to get the ball down low to the Williams' (Rodney and Austin), until they were pulled. Austin led the charge with 16 points on 8-for-9 shooting and 11 rebounds, while Rodney managed seven points and five rebounds in just 18 minutes.
Having a large lead early in the game allowed Spiker to get his bench players involved. Only two players on the Dragons' roster did not see the floor (Mohamed Bah and Miles Overton). Jeremy Peck, a first-year player, had a solid outing, managing six points and 10 rebounds in 17 minutes.
"Great to get a game where so many guys can get quality reps that don't get reps in games or even practices sometimes," Spiker said. "It's good for a lot of reasons and hopefully we'll use this as a springboard moving forward as we close out our nonconference portion of our schedule."
Perhaps most important of all, Major Canady, a redshirt junior guard who has been out indefinitely with a knee injury, saw his first action of the year. The 6-4 guard has not played since the 2013-14 season due to ankle and knee injuries.
"Major's road and process began long before I got here," said Spiker who replaced Bruiser Flint in March. "He's had some struggles and challenges even this year. I thought he had two great practices to start the season. (We wre) excited to see him out there."
He wore a large protective brace on his injured right knee, but seemed to be running and cutting well. His teammates gave him a standing ovation when he scored his first point on a free throw with just over four minutes remaining. It was his only point of the game.
"To see Major out there, not only for our coaching staff, for everybody in this room and everybody in the Drexel basketball community, it meant something," Spiker said. "We were in a position where we were fortunate to get him some time and some minutes. Maybe down the road as we get into league play he can have a serviceable role."
Drexel's schedule gets tougher with a matchup at Quinnipiac on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. before a week off for the holidays.