For Hofstra coach Tom Pecora, sometimes it seems like a jungle out there.

"We have to play our freshmen too much right now, and it is almost like lions picking out the zebra who's limping,'' Pecora said after a 75-62 loss to Drexel yesterday in Philadelphia. "The other team sees a freshman and says let's go right at him."

Hofstra (9-12, 2-7 CAA), which lost its fifth straight game, played with seven scholarship players as Cornelius Vines and David Imes sat out with injuries. "We are still a mish-mosh of who's playing out there at times," Pecora said. "At one time we had four freshmen on the floor at once, including a walk-on.''

Freshman guard Chris Fouch scored 19 of his career-high 29 points in the first half for the Dragons (11-10, 6-3). Drexel held Hofstra without a field goal for 71/2 minutes while extending its lead from 19-13 to 36-18. Fouch's dunk with 12:51 left gave Drexel its largest lead at 63-33.

"When you're on a hot streak, you find ways to win games, and when you're on a cold streak, you find ways to lose games," Pecora said. "Right now we're finding ways to lose them. We went cold for a long stretch in the first half and allowed them to get some separation, and we didn't recover."

Miklos Szabo had 14 points and Charles Jenkins added 13 for Hofstra. Chaz Williams had nine points and six assists.

"This is the end of a tough stretch for us," Pecora said. "We knew going in that January was going to be tough. We didn't want to be where we are now, but we have four of our next five at home with students back so we can get this turned around. We practiced hard the last couple days and we'll practice hard the beginning of next week, so the fire is still there."

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