Dragons use 18-0 run to win Philly Classic
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Gerald Colds hit a pair of 3-pointers during a decisive 18-0 run and Frank Elegar scored 21 points to lead Drexel over Loyola, Md., 54-52 on Saturday to win a share of the Philly Hoop Group Classic.
The Dragons (5-1) won the Liberty championship in the inaugural eight-team tournament at the fabled Palestra. The tournament is broken up into two brackets, so there is no true champion.
Drexel nearly let its double-digit lead go to waste down the stretch and failed to put away the scrappy Greyhounds (4-3) until the final seconds.
Gerald Brown made a string of clutch baskets down the stretch for Loyola and finished with 16 points. Michael Tuck had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The Dragons seemed set to pull away after their 18-0 run early in the second. Only the Greyhounds had some fight in the final minutes, and Brown led the way. With the shot clock down to single digits, Brown nailed a fall-away 3-pointer that made it 47-44 and gave Loyola hope they could pull this one out.
The Greyhounds forced a turnover, but Brown found making a shot under the basket a bit tougher and missed a layup.
Evan Neisler made Loyola pay and shook the rim with a dunk that brought a rise out of Dragons fans and should have sealed the win. Instead, Brett Harvey was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three from the free-throw line to cut it to 49-47 with 27.9 seconds left.
The Dragons broke a press and Elegar dunked, then added a pair of free throws that should have been yet another chance for Drexel to hold on. Elegar, who battled foul trouble all game, also had six rebounds.
Brown was left open and sank a 3 right in front of the Loyola bench and it was 53-52 with 3.3 seconds to go.
Scott Rodgers made one of two free throws and that was finally enough for the Dragons to hold on for their second win in two days.
Elegar was limited to only 8 minutes in the first half after he was whistled for two fast fouls. He headed for the bench again after he picked up his fourth foul with 6:17 left in the game. Tuck converted the three-point play to pull the Greyhounds within six.
Colds, though, came right back down and sank an open 3.
The Greyhounds used an 11-2 run to take brief control in the first half, highlighted by a steal-turned-crashing-dunk from Tuck. Joe Miles hit a big 3 late in the half to push back a brief Dragons spurt and help Loyola take a 25-20 lead into halftime.