Panthers Fall to Drexel, 77-60, in CAA Opener
ATLANTA—Frantz Massenat scored 25 points as Drexel defeated Georgia State, 77-60, Wednesday at the GSU Sports Arena in the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams.
Freshman R.J. Hunter scored 23 points for Georgia State, which trailed by just four points at halftime, but Drexel (5-8, 1-0 CAA), the preseason favorite in the CAA, dominated the second half to hand GSU (5-9, 0-1 CAA) its fifth straight loss.
The win was Drexel’s 17th straight CAA regular-season victory, dating back to last season. Georgia State was the last team to hand Drexel a regular-season loss in CAA play; exactly one year ago, GSU defeated the Dragons, 58-44, at the Sports Arena. Drexel’s streak equals Richmond (1988-89) for the second-longest in league history and is one shy of George Mason’s record of 18 in a row over the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Hunter topped the 20-point mark for the third time in the last four games and the sixth time in his rookie season at Georgia State. A leading candidate for CAA Rookie of the Year, Hunter has already earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors three times this season. He finished the game 9-of-16 from the floor and pulled six rebounds.
“Drexel showed tonight why they were picked first in the CAA during the preseason,” commented head coach Ron Hunter. “After a good first half, they played really well in the second half and we just did not have any answers.
“We will keep grinding and we will get better. For us to get where we want to though, we need a full team effort. We have to have guys step up and when they do, we will be a special team.”
A tip-in just ahead of the first-half buzzer by Dartaye Ruffin gave Drexel a 37-33 lead at the intermission. After Georgia State scored the first bucket of the second half, the Dragons went on a 22-4 run to open a 59-39 lead with 11 minutes to play.
Drexel shot 65 percent from the field in the second half, led by Massenat, the preseason CAA Player of the Year, who scored 17 points of his career-high 25 points after the intermission. Damion Lee added 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range, and Darryl McCoy pulled down 14 rebounds for the Dragons.
Georgia State will return to the court on Saturday hosting James Madison at 2 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena. For tickets, visit GeorgiaStateSports.com or call 1-866-GA-STATE.