January 17, 2021 –
The Drexel Dragons led 61- 52 with just over four minutes on the clock. The William & Mary Tribe had not scored a basket since the 7:25 mark. Actually it was the last basket they would score. The game appeared to be going in the Dragons direction. Looks can be deceiving at times. This was one of those.
The foul line would be the difference as the Tribe made 13 consecutive free throws, and went 17 of 20 over the decisive stretch as Drexel was called for 11 fouls in that last four minute segment. Meanwhile, the Dragons went cold on offense scoring just 3 points, all at the foul line, missing 6 shots. The result was an improbable 69 – 64 win for the Tribe in the second game of the weekend series at the DAC.
“We fouled them,” said Drexel Coach Zach Spiker on why the game slipped away late. “They drove it, we fouled them. They got us in the air. We have some guys who are solid defenders for us, fouled.”
“We were ahead 61 – 52. We had some clean looks that didn’t go and a couple of tough finishes around the rim that didn’t go. That puts you into a tighter game. Then, they go to the foul line.”
W&M converted 24 of 29 from the charity stripe. Their leading scorers were Connor Kochera who had a game-high 26 points, 14 of which came on free throws. Luke Lowe scored a total of 16, and he was a perfect 4 for 4 at the line.
Drexel went to the foul line 12 times sinking 10.
“They made twice as many shots than we took at the foul line,” Spiker pointed out.
Offensively forward Mate Okros scored a career-high 17 points going 6 of 11 from the floor and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc. He made three consecutive three-pointers in the first half that gave Drexel a lead they would hold on to until there was just 1:18 remaining.
“Anytime a guy is shooting and scores to stretch the defense is always helpful,” Spiker said. “He’s worked really hard (Okros), he’s a consistent worker, and we hope to see some progress.”
Despite playing with foul trouble and scoring 4 points guard Camren Wynter dished out a season-high 11 assists. He records double-digit assists for the second consecutive game. Forward James Butler scored 12 points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. It was his 4th double-double of the season and moves into 10th place in program history for total rebounds.
After a loss of this nature a team would like to get back on the court as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the next game for the Dragons is scheduled for January 30 hosting Northeastern. Next weekend’s games with Elon are postponed. Drexel (6-5, 1-3) is hoping to get a game in the meantime.
“Hopefully we can find a game, conference game, non-conference game, let’s find one,” said Spiker.
Written By: Glenn Papazian