Men’s Basketball: NU drops quarterfinal to Drexel

Men’s Basketball: NU drops quarterfinal to Drexel

The men’s basketball team finished the season with a second-round Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament loss to Drexel in Richmond, Va. March 2. But a second-round loss means a first-round win and a Husky squad that has come a long way since the drama of the offseason.

“This season was better than people expected,” said senior co-captain Bobby Kelly. “I would have loved a winning season, sure, but I take this season as a great experience. I can say I got to play at Syracuse and Pittsburgh and Louisville. I wouldn’t take anything back.”

The Huskies were outmatched by Drexel in the 64-50 loss despite all three senior captains ending their careers with a strong game. Bennet Davis scored a team-high 16 points along with four rebounds and two blocks, after being named to the All-CAA third team.

Kelly put up 13 points and Adrian Martinez had six points, three rebounds and two assists.

Northeastern stayed with Drexel throughout the first half before the Dragons went on a 14-4 run in the final four minutes of the period to go into the half with a 35-18 lead.

“It is pretty hard to play on back-to-back days but we can’t use that as an excuse,” Kelly said. “Drexel is a tough team and we just didn’t match up that well. They were playing full pressure on defense, making us work hard, and then we had to work hard on defense to stop their offense.”

In the second half the Huskies outscored Drexel 32-29 but couldn’t come any closer than the 16-point deficit that ended the game.

In the first round of the tournament Northeastern faced off against Delaware, the only team the Huskies beat twice in the regular season.

“We didn’t take them lightly just because we had beat them in the regular season,” Kelly said. “But it was nice to know we were up against someone we could play with.”

Northeastern controlled the first half of the game, outscoring the Fightin’ Blue Hens 35-22. Delaware fought back in the second half ,outscoring the Huskies 45-42, but Northeastern still won the game 77-67.

“In the first half we played really well and everything was clocking both offensively and defensively,” Kelly said. “In the second half we relaxed a little and let them get back in the game, but when it came to the end we knew what we had to do to get the win.”

Davis and sophomore forward Eugene Spates each put up 20 points and Kelly added 15.

CAA Rookie of the Year Matt Janning had 13 points. Janning earned the Rookie of the Year honor at the CAA banquet, March 1, after leading all rookies in scoring and rebounding.

Head coach Bill Coen finished second in the voting for the CAA Coach of the Year after leading the Huskies to a 13-19 (9-9 CAA) record in his first year. Virginia Commonwealth’s Anthony Grant won the award in his first year as a head coach.

Janning was also named to the CollegeHoops.net High-Major All-Freshman team.

“He helped us a lot this season,” Kelly said. “We all had a feeling before the banquet that he would get it. He came in right away this season, which is tough to do, and contributed to the team especially on the offensive end with his shooting ability.”

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