Drexel drills UCF, 81-56, in first round of NIT
Dragons improve to 28-6 on the season
UCF’s first appearance in the NIT was short-lived as Frantz Massenat had 18 points and 14 assists to lead Drexel to an easy 81-56 win over UCF on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
The Knights (22-11) shot just 30 percent (9-of-30) in the first half and trailed 37-24 at halftime.
Drexel (28-6) led 9-0 just over two minutes into the game when Damion Lee converted a lay-up.
UCF received seven straight points from Keith Clanton to fuel a 9-2 run to close to within 11-9 at the 14:18 mark.
However, the Dragons started to knock down three-pointers and found themselves with a 32-16 advantage with just over five minutes to play after consecutive trifectas by Damion Lee.
The Knights, who were led by Keith Clanton’s 12-point and six rebound effort, would not get closer than ten points the rest of the way.
After shooting above 50 percent in the first half, Drexel continued to shoot well from the floor in the second half. The Dragons also went 14-of-20 from the charity stripe after not attempting a free throw in the first 20 minutes.
Drexel shared the basketball extremely well, as it had 25 assists on 28 made field goals.
Chris Fouch came off the bench to tally 19 points after hitting five of 11 from beyond the arc. Pantovic and Thomas also reached double figures with ten points each for the Dragons.
The Dragons will now host Northern Iowa on Saturday morning in the second round.