The Drew University men’s basketball team opened their week of play on November 19 at the Rose City Classic where they fell in the championship game to NJCU by a 76-72 margin. The Rangers rallied from being five points down to being within one in the final seconds of the competition, but a steal and layup at the buzzer sealed victory for NJCU.
Drew opened the tournament with a 97-87 win over Brooklyn College. Yonathan Napoleon (‘18) led the team with 27 points and six assists while Riley Collins (‘20) added 20 points and nine assists. The Bulldogs were up a 29-21 when Nate Aldrich (‘21) hit a jumper to spark a 10-2 run that tied the game at 31-31. With a minute remaining in the first half, Collins and Darius Reiter (‘19) put the Rangers in front by each hitting a triple on Drew’s final two possessions. Collins started Drew’s 7-0 run with a jumper in early in the second half, and Napoleon nailed a three to start an 8-0 spurt with six minutes to go. Sky Harris (‘18) contributed eight points to the Rangers win and Dan Roibal (‘19) tallied seven rebounds and five assists.
In the final, Drew used a 13-2 run to find a 21-12 advantage over NJCU. At the end of the first half, a Napoleon trey started a 5-0 run to maintain the Ranger’s cushion at 37-33. After Drew scored the first eight points of the second half, the Gothic Knights had a 17-6 spurt to pull within one. Harris hit a layup to start a 9-2 run for the Rangers to extend their lead, but NJCU countered with nine straight points. The Gothic Knights led 71-66 when Brian Oehme (‘19) cut the margin to two with 24 seconds left in play. NJCU scored a pair of free throws to extend their lead, and Napoleon responded with a three pointer to pull the Rangers within one at 73-72 with 10 seconds to go, but their opponents stole an inbound pass to open up for the layup that won them the championship. Collins led the team with 18 points while Napoleon contributed 17.
The Rangers continued their season on November 21 when they beat Vermont Tech with a score of 86-67. Five minutes into the contest, Napoleon sank a trey to ignite a 17-3 rally to put the Rangers up 19-5. Harris dropped a three pointer to start a 12-0 run to end the first half with a 47-28 advantage. Collins scored a game-high 21 points to go along with four assists. Reiter finished with 14 points and Napoleon tallied 12 points.
On November 29, Drew fell to Wilkes by an 87-80 margin. The Rangers raced out to an early 14-7 lead, but Wilkes rallied to within one before Drew responded with a 15-9 run to extend their cushion to 39-36 at the halfway point. Wilkes took a 48-44 lead in the second half before Napoleon scored six straight points. The Colonels then went on a 15-4 run to take the lead and went up 87-77. Collins scored the final trey to end the contest with a seven-point deficit. Napoleon led the Rangers with 29 points and Collins and Aldrich both tallied 18.
The Rangers stand with a season record of 2-3 and will begin Landmark Conference play on Saturday in a matchup against Catholic at 2 p.m. in the Simon Forum.