PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Dominick Mejia scored 20 points and Frank Elegar had 12 to lead Drexel to its seventh straight win, a 61-49 victory over George Mason on Thursday night.
Already among the best college teams in Philadelphia, the Dragons (9-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) have their sights set on being the best in the conference -- and beating the Patriots (5-5, 0-1) was a nice first step.Will Thomas scored 19 points for George Mason, which has been alternating wins and losses all season after being last season's NCAA tournament underdog darling.After a string of solid victories that included knocking off three Philly Big 5 teams and beating No. 23 Syracuse, the Dragons received votes in The Associated Press' Top 25 for the first time since coach Bruiser Flint took over in 2001.Who knows? A few more wins and they might crack the coveted poll for the first time in school history.Tramayne Hawthorne had 10 points and Chaz Crawford grabbed 14 rebounds for Drexel, which improved to 4-0 at the Daskalakis Athletic Center, where there was standing room only in the four corners of the cozy bleacher-seat gym. The public address announcer implored fans to "squeeze in real tight with your neighbor," and the frenzied student section wore yellow T-shirts that read "DAC Pack."Some fans outside were even scalping tickets, a rarity for a basketball program that's not even in the hallowed Big 5 and hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1996.Drexel got rolling early in the second half and started to build a bit of a cushion. After wasting a halftime lead, Brashir Mason converted a three-point play to give the Dragons a 33-31 lead. George Mason's John Vaughan dribbled the ball off his sneaker on the next possession, and Mejia scooped up the loose ball for an easy layup.Hawthorne sank a 3-pointer, then immediately scored a fastbreak layup off another Patriot turnover that made it a six-point lead and started to shift the momentum all Drexel's way.Mejia did what he does best, burying another 3-pointer from the top of the arc, and when Mason scored a few possessions later, the Dragons grabbed a double-digit lead and cruised from there.Mejia went 6-for-14 from 3-point range. He hit four 3s in the first half and Elegar capped the first-half scoring with a thunderous dunk off a missed layup to give the Dragons a 30-28 lead at the break.