Another day, another win for the red-hot Drexel Dragons as they defeated the James Madison Dukes, 78-61.This win makes it 16 in a row for the Dragons.
Drexel (24-5, 15-2 CAA) won this game over JMU with a dominating second-half performance. Going into halftime, the score was 35-34 in favor of the Dukes and the game still hung in the balance. However, the second half was all Drexel as they outscored James Madison (11-19, 4-13 CAA), 44-26, in the final frame.
James Madison had leads of 16-7 and 23-15 early in the first half, but for all of Drexel’s first half shortcomings, they still only trailed by 1 at the half and were poised to run away with it. They started on an 11-1 run and never looked back. Though James Madison kept their deficit close to 10 points throughout the second half, Drexel pulled away in the last few minutes thanks to four straight field goals by four different scorers.
Drexel’s top performer was senior forward Samme Givens, who had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Also helping out was sophomore point guard Frantz Massenat, who had 13 points and 5 assists. Massenat leads the team with 4.4 assists per game.
The big surprise of the game was junior Chris Fouch, who came off the bench and had 14 points and 4 rebounds, providing the impetus for the Dragons’ second-half rout. Freshman stud Damion Lee had an off game with a meager 4 points, while going a mediocre 2-9 from the field and 0-3 from behind the 3-point arc. However, the Dragons’ bench was key in winning this one. While James Madison mustered a paltry 4 points from their bench, Drexel’s bench was able to contribute 27 points, providing fresh energy constantly.
Another major factor that affected the game was free throws. While both teams shot relatively the same from the field JMU (22-50/44%) Drexel (26-59/44.1%), Drexel had more than double the amount of made free throws than JMU. While JMU went 7-14 (50%) from the charity stripe, Drexel went 19-26 (73.1%). This accounts for 12 point differential, and one that could have been larger if each team had made more of their free throws.
Looking around the rest of the CAA, VCU and Old Dominion pulled off tight victories, but George Mason fell in OT to Northeastern. This puts Drexel in sole position in the lead of CAA. Drexel is 15-2 in the conference while both VCU and George Mason are 14-3, and Old Dominion is 13-4. Drexel has already pulled off victories over VCU and George Mason, and beating Old Dominion would make them the leaders of the conference.
Their final game of the regular season is on Saturday at 4 PM at Old Dominion. If they fall to Old Dominion, they will be tied with the same conference record as the winner of George Mason and VCU colossal bout. Though they would have a better overall record than George Mason, they would be tied with VCU. So, in short, it’s a big game and could define Drexel’s already impressive season.