Clark Slajchert Makes a Critical Three-Pointer Down the Stretch in a 64 – 59 Win
November 15, 2022 –
The Battle of 33rd Street. The borderline between the West Philadelphia neighbors. A thriller at the DAC. The team two blocks south holds off the hosts to win 64 – 59 and take home the street sign. Penn led from start to finish and gets their first win of the season in front of a noisy, excited crowd. Still, the game was in doubt until the end. Penn guard Clark Slajchert made a three-pointer with 1:27 to play giving the Red and Blue a 60 – 55 lead. Penn coach Steve Donahue knows the win is significant for a variety of reasons.
“I thought the environment here was great,” said Donahue. “I love that we can play each other. It’s a family thing. You want to win the battle for sure. But more than anything I wanted to play what Penn basketball should look like, and I think we did that tonight.”
Slajchert Sinks Critical Three-Pointers
The Quakers held an 11-point halftime lead behind a late 11- 0 run. Drexel Coach Zach Spiker thought that stretch by Penn put his team in a bit of a hole.
As the second half evolved, the Dragons crept closer getting to within 49 – 44 with just over 8 minutes to play. Slajchert answered with back-to-back baskets form deep to restore the lead to double-digits as 7:08 showed on the clock. Drexel cut the deficit to 57 – 55 on consecutive baskets by Dragons forward Amari Williams at the 1:50 mark. Slajchert came up big again with a trey 23 seconds later. The baskets significantly lifted Penn at the right time.
“It did,” said Slajchert. “Hearing the crowd quiet down and get our feet under us was helpful. You can feel the momentum shifting in a packed house. I could feel it.”
Drexel got to within a possession on a three-ball by Luke House at 62 – 59, but two free throws by Quakers guard Jordan Dingle ended it.
The Free Throw Line Differential
Penn was hot from the foul line missing just one. Drexel converted 9 of their 20 attempts, 5 of 11 in the second half. The Dragons had opportunities, but the free throw line represented the biggest of the missed chances.
“We had to hit a few more free throws,” said Spiker. “That’s a big number. They went 13 for 14. That’s a significant difference.”
What the Number Say
Dingle led Penn with a game-high 21 points. Slajchert added 16 points. Lucas Monroe took down a season-high 11 rebounds. Forwards Michael Moshkovitz assisted a season-high 5 times, and Nick Spinoso tied his career-best at four.
Williams scored 20 for Drexel and also headed the team with 7 boards. House set a collegiate-mark with three made three-point field goals.
The DAC Factor
The crowd of 2,324 kept the excitement going the whole night. The crowd stayed behind Drexel. The coach said the team wants their help.
“The atmosphere was incredible,” Spiker said. “I think our fans really showed up. They did a great job. I would encourage them to come back and stick with this team. We had an incredible turnout and I hope the result doesn’t discourage them from coming back. They made a difference. It was loud. We need them to continue to be a factor in games.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian