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Title Tilt: Drexel vs. VCU Live Blog March 5, 2012

Posted by Sam Angell in Men's Basketball.
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A season that started at 6:00 am in a tiny gym at Rider University in New Jersey reaches a climax tonight in Richmond. The Drexel Dragons, the top seed in the CAA Tournament, will battle second-seeded VCU at the Richmond Coliseum for the CAA title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Join us here, as we live blog highlights and inside looks live from Richmond, where a sizable and very loud contingent of Dragon fans, including a few hundred DAC Pack members, go up against the hometown Rams, less than a year removed from a Final Four.

6:17 pm: Arrived at seats just a few rows behind the Drexel bench. Women’s assistant coach James Clark made sure fan-favorite Coach Calvin Hicks was looking his best, telling the loudest Drexel fan to tuck in his shirt. He’ll be on ESPN tonight, so it’s good advice that Calvin is quick to follow.

6:24: Daryl McCoy dunked in warmups a few minutes ago and the backboard is still shaking. Safe to say the big man is up for tonight. The Coliseum basket supports however, might not be.

6:35: The Dragons take the court to the cheers of the DAC Pack. And the boos of 80% of the arena. Don’t look too fazed by it. Blurry, maybe…but not fazed.


6:55: Stands getting full as both teams are on the court now. Tip off just minutes away, Bruiser Flint is fashionably late to the court. Now he enters, with Matt Collier and Mike Connors, to the cheers of the DAC Pack. Meets VCU coach Shaka Smart at midcourt for a pregame handshake.

7:00: “And now, for the Number One-seeded Dragons of Drexel University”


7:09: First media timeout with 15:53 to go in the first, VCU leads 8-7. This crowd is, not surprisingly, overwhelmingly a VCU crowd, and Drexel isn’t taking them out of it early with two fast-break buckets for the Rams and a four-point play. Frantz Massenat with a couple very impressive drives to the hoop to key the Drexel offense.

7:16: Bizarre play earlier as VCU drove to the hoop. One ref called a block, the other a charge. Instead of choosing, both players were called for a foul and Drexel got the ball via the possession arrow. Never seen that before, anywhere. But maybe seeing something for the first time is a good sign for a Drexel team trying to be the first ever northern champion of the CAA.

7:21: Bruiser is not pleased with a couple calls, or lack thereof, in the last few possessions. He lets the officials hear it at the media timeout. VCU leads 12-9, 10:47 to play in the first half.

7:25: Samme Givens with a steal but he limps down to the other end. Looks ok on the next couple possessions but the Dragons have gone ice cold from the floor. Timeout Dragons, down 16-9 with 9:03 to play in the half.

7:57: Halftime, with the Dragons trailing 35-19. VCU’s pressure has stifled the Dragons’ offense, and the partisan crowd has been loud throughout. Bruiser has been trying to get in the guys’ heads that they are the better team and to play like it, but there’s no doubt the pressure has been a problem for the Dragons. Apologies for the lack of updates, as the Internet in the Coliseum has apparently been slowed by the VCU defense as well.