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HomeSportsUT
Published: Sunday, 11/29/2009

Rockets dig too deep of hole against Drexel

PHILADELPHIA - The Toledo men's basketball team fell behind Drexel 14-2 and never recovered in dropping a 69-59 decision to the Dragons yesterday.

The Rockets committed 11 turnovers in the first half and shot just 30 percent from the field in the opening half, two main reasons they trailed 41-19 at the break.

Toledo did cut the deficit to eight points in the second half but came no closer in dropping its fifth consecutive game to start the season.

Drexel now is 3-3.

"Drexel came out and jumped on us right from the start," Toledo coach Gene Cross said. "I thought we looked a little shell-shocked, and we didn't gather ourselves until halftime.

"Drexel plays a physical brand of basketball, and they wear you down."

The Rockets went 1 of 8 from the floor with four turnovers in the first six minutes as Drexel built its early advantage.

Toledo was not able to come closer than seven points to the Dragons in the first half as the Rockets' 11 turnovers led to 19 points for Drexel.

In the second half, Toledo used an 8-0 run midway through the period to trim the deficit to 57-48 with 5:59 to play after an old-fashioned three-point play by Jake Barnett.

But the Dragons' Jamie Harris made baskets on his team's next two possessions, and the Rockets never could come closer than eight points the rest of the way.

"We fought back and didn't give up, but Jamie Harris made big plays down the stretch to quiet our run," Cross said.

"When you dig yourself such a big hole, it is very difficult to claw back."

Harris led Drexel with a game-high 19 points.

Chris Fouch came off the bench to add 11 as the Dragons' bench finished wtih 27 points and 16 rebounds, thanks in part to 10 boards by Samme Givens.

For Toledo, Barnett finished with 17 points - 15 of which came in the second half - along with nine rebounds to lead UT in both categories.

Jordan Dressler also hit double figures with 10 points and eight boards.

The Rockets, now 0-2 in the first two "subregional rounds" of the Legends Classic, will face Vermont in the tournament's final day today starting at noon.

Jasmine Blanton scored 22 points, and Brittany Darling added 16 as Owens Community College women defeated Kalamazoo Valley 78-65 yesterday.

The Express play their third game in three days meeting Schoolcraft, the No. 2-rated team in the NJCAA Division II poll, at 4 p.m. today at Owens. Owens is rated No. 8.

The victory was the seventh in eight starts for the Express, who made only 2 of 14 from the three-point line but were 28 of 72 for 38.9 per cent from two-point range.

Kaitlin Vincke led Kalamazoo (2-4) with 11 points.



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