PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/17/2019 – The Drexel Dragons are the host for this weekend in the Colonial. It is an important segment as Drexel looks to move up in the standings. Towson and William & Mary come to town.
The current focus is the Towson Tigers, a team that Drexel has not defeated since February of 2015. That steak ended as the Dragons came from behind erasing an 11-point deficit in the second half to win 72 – 66 at the DAC.
“It was a hard fought game,” said Drexel Coach Zach Spiker. “Anything you expect in this league happened tonight. It doesn’t matter if it is home or away, it will be a tough competitive matchup. And that was the case.”
Keying the Dragons rally was a 16 point performance from forward Jarvis Doles, a career-high for the sophomore. He scored 13 consecutive points for Drexel when his team was trailing 53 – 42 with 13:03 remaining.
“My guys had confidence in me, got me the ball when I was open,” Doles said about the run. I appreciate them for it.”
After the Doles explosion the Dragons followed with a 10 – 0 run to take a 65 – 59 lead with 3:48 on the clock on a layup by forward Alihan Demir, who scored 22 points, two shy of his career-best. Demir also pulled down 16 rebounds, his collegiate-best. It his fifth double-double of the season.
Coinciding with the offensive run, Drexel turned up the defense in that critical part of the game. They held Towson to 1 of 12 shooting over a 7:21 span. A jumper by forward Nakye Sanders with 10:02 to play put the Tigers up by ten points. They did not get another field goal until Sanders scored again with 2:42 on the clock.
“I think we had to,” said Spiker about the defense rising up as well. “We did a better job of defending in the second half and making them work for their buckets.”
The Dragons converted 6 of 6 from the line to close the game out. Meanwhile the Tigers missed their last four from the floor.
Towson is the leading rebounding team in the CAA Drexel managed to outrebound the opponent by a 47 – 44 margin. The Tigers had a 17 – 11 edge in offensive boards, but had only a 9 – 8 advantage in second chance points. The Dragons did not let the offensive rebounds hurt them.
“It means a ton,” Spiker said about having more boards than Towson. “Tunstall had 7 rebounds and some nights he has 7 offensive rebounds. I think we did a good job limiting his ability on the glass. There are hidden plays that don’t show up in the stat sheet and we had a lot of those tonight.”
Towson falls to 5 – 14, 1 – 5 in the conference. The Tigers are looking for their first win in 2019. Sanders scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds. Brian Fobbs led Towson with 21 points.
Drexel improves to 9 – 11 and 3 – 4 in the Colonial. The Dragons face James Madison on Saturday.
“We are going to coach guys who play hard from one game to the next,” Spiker said. “
Written By: Glenn Papazian