The Huskies' home hex over the Drexel Dragons went uncontested.
Northeastern men's basketball extended its home win streak over Drexel to eight games with a full-throttle 85-52 beat-down Thursday night at Matthews Arena.
The Huskies shot an efficient 55.2% from the floor with nine trifectas, 34 bounds, 16 assists and eight turnovers. The Dragons shot 32% from the floor with 24 rebounds and seven assists. The Huskies forced 17 turnovers that were converted into 25 points. NU improved to 12-9 overall and 5-3 in the CAA while Drexel fell to 11-9 and 5-3.
NU's senior guards led the way. Jordan Roland scored a game high 26 points with seven boards while Bolden Brace netted 17. Prior to tip-off, Brace was presented with a commemorative game ball in recognition of becoming the 39th player in program history to score 1,000 career points. Brace moved into 32nd place on the all-time list with 1,048.
“I'm very blessed and thankful to be a part of this program and the four years have gone by really fast,” said Brace. “It's been an awesome opportunity for me and I'm excited to finish off the rest of the season.”
The Huskies defense established its presence right away, forcing four turnovers and a shot clock violation before the first official's timeout. NU converted on four of the Dragons' giveaways with four buckets and a 9-3 lead with 14:59 to play in the first.
“We came out with great energy tonight and our defense set the tone and led us into some really great offensive possessions,” said NU head coach Bill Coen.
NU came out of the break and scored two quick baskets to push it to 13-3, forcing Drexel coach Zach Spiker to call timeout. Jordan Roland went nitro by scoring two pull-up jumpers followed by a pair from Huntington Ave. to put the Huskies up 21-4 with 12:38 to play.
“He's a microwave and he just gets it going in a hurry,” said Coen. “Everybody knows that and his teammates have unbelievable respect for him and he seems to have made big bucket after big bucket all season long for us.”
Drexel ended its field goal drought of 7:23 when James Butler netted a put-back. But the run continued unabated as NU went up 30-10 on center Max Boursiquot's layup with 5:58 to play.
The Dragons' frustration level reached its breaking point when the Drexel bench drew a technical foul. Roland sank both to put NU up by 22 points. The Huskies shot 51.4% from the floor, forced 13 turnovers (converted into 21 points) and a 49-17 at the break.
The second half was 20 minutes of the same thing. Drexel scored its 21st point on a pull-up jumper by Sam Green at 17:30. Spiker went to full-court pressure late in the first half and continued the desperation strategy to start the second.
NU routinely broke the press with strong rebounding and quick transition outlet passes to the wings. Freshman guard Tyson Walker put the Huskies up 57-25 on a baseline jumper with 15:52 on the board.
The Huskies continued to pile up the rebounds, assists, and Brace drained his third trifecta to put the Huskies up 67-33 with 11:36 on the clock.
Drexel's only option was the three-ball. Coletran Washington hit a pair from off the key but it barely made a dent in the deficit.
The victory was Coen's 157th in the CAA, leaving him one shy of second place held by former UMass and Drexel coach Bruiser Flint. The head coach in his 14th season can equal the mark when the Huskies host the Delaware Blue Hens on Saturday at noon.