NORFOLK- Five Monarchs scored in double figures, but the Drexel Dragons held on to a 81-77 Colonial Athletic Association victory over ODU Thursday night in the final CAA game at ODU. Senior DeShawn Painter and freshman Aaron Bacote led the Monarchs with 15 points each, while Drexel’s Damion Lee scored a career high 34 points for the Dragons.
Drexel led by as many as 15 in the first half, 36-21 with 3:42 left as Lee scored 24 points on a perfect 9-for-9 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-6 from beyond the arc.
In the second half the Monarchs gradually cut into Drexel’s lead, and with 13:14 left got within five points, 51-46 after a Dimitri Batten three-pointer. With 10:07 left in the game Nick Wright’s layup tied the game at 53-53, but Drexel’s Tavon Allen nailed a trey to give the Dragons the lead again at 56-53.
ODU would again battle back and senior Nick Wright’s free throw with 7:45 left tied the game at 59-59. Drexel again built the lead back up to nine with 5:49 left, 69-60 after two Damion Lee free throws.
The Monarchs made one more rally, getting to within two, 79-77 after a Donte Hill layup and a free throw with 43 seconds left. DU’s Franz Massenat’s jumper was blocked by Richard Ross, his fourth of the game and the Monarchs had a chance to tie or go-ahead, but turned the ball over with four seconds left and Massenat hit two more free throws to ice the victory.
Ross came into the game ranking fourth in the CAA in blocked shots at 1.8 per game and leads the league in blocked shots in CAA only games at 2.4. Joining Painter and bacote in double figures were Donte Hill with 14 and Dimitri Batten with 12. Painter grabbed 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. Monarch freshman Keenan Palmore scored nine points with a career high five steals. Donte Hill led with four assists.
For the third time this season and third time in the last four games ODU shot 50 percent or better at .509 (27-53). Drexel shot .481 (26-54), but the Dragons outrebounded ODU, 31-28. Joining Lee in double figures, was Frantz Massenat with 22 and Derrick thomas with 13 points.
Lee not only scored 34 points but also hauled in 10 rebounds. He did not score a point when ODU beat the Dragons, 78-66 in Philadelphia earlier this month.