Men’s basketball bests Elon, falls to William & Mary | The Triangle

Men’s basketball bests Elon, falls to William & Mary

Senior Troy Harper going up for a dunk against the College of William & Mary Jan. 5. Unfortunately, the Dragons lost 84-66. (Photograph courtesy of Drexel Athletics)

After starting off the season with a record of 5-4 after the win against Loyola University Maryland Dec. 5, the Drexel University men’s basketball team has struggled in their past eight games. The first game of this challenging stretch came against the University of Maryland Baltimore County Dec. 8. Drexel simply did not have an answer for UMBC’s junior K.J Jackson who scored 21 points in the second half. A bright spot for the Dragons was senior Troy Harper who finished the game with 22 points. Still, this was not enough to overcome the significant deficit as the Dragons fell 91-76.

Drexel’s next game was a different story, however, as they played Quinnipiac University Dec. 16. The Dragons were led by junior Alihan Demir who came off the bench to score 26 points on 11-15 shooting. Harper once again had a strong game as he finished with 19 points. Despite trailing by four at halftime, the Dragons managed to outscore Quinnipiac by 13 in the second half to give them a 92-83 victory.

Two days later, the Dragons traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, for a matchup against the University of Connecticut Dec. 18. Drexel simply could not keep up in this one, as their only lead of the game came during the first four minutes. UConn eventually broke away and routed the Dragons 97-65 in dominating fashion. Husky seniors Jalen Adams and Tarin Smith each dropped 20 points in the game.

Drexel’s next three games came against Temple University Dec. 22, and then two Colonial Athletic Association rivals, Northeastern University and Hofstra University, Dec. 28 and 30 respectively. The Dragons’ struggles continued in each matchup, as the team lost each one of those games by 10 or more points.

After two straight road losses, the Dragons returned home to play Elon University Jan. 3 in hopes of ending their drought. The first half was a close battle. After Elon took an early 11 point lead, Drexel responded with a 9-3 run to make it a 35-34 point game at halftime. However, the second half was a different story with the Dragons striking quickly to build an eight point lead. The Dragons went on to outscore Elon 45-30 in the second half to give them the victory. The final score was 79-65. Harper finished with 21 points in the game and Demir contributed with 19 points, falling two rebounds and five assists short of a triple double.

Drexel’s next game came against the College of William & Mary Jan. 5. The Dragons could not stop junior Nathan Knight who fished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. William & Mary outscored the Dragons by eight in the first half and 10 in the second to give them a 84-66 victory. Despite coming within two points in the second half, Drexel could not keep up with William & Mary, as the Tribe continued to create chances. Harper led the Dragons in scoring once again with 17 points. Over the past eight games Troy harper has been averaging 21 points.

On the season, Drexel is 7-10 overall and 1-3 in CAA conference play. Drexel’s next game was on the road against the College of Charleston on Jan.10.