Looking to continue their winning ways, the Drexel Dragons hosted the Elon University Phoenix’s on January 16, the start of a two-game homestand. Coming into the game Elon had a record of (5-13, 1-4 CAA) compared to Drexel’s record of (10-8, 3-2 CAA).
Elon came out strong behind senior Marcus Sheffield, who on the season is averaging 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The first half between the two teams was a seesaw battle. The largest lead in the first half was just seven points, which Elon held with less than three minutes left to go in the half. Drexel countered with a 4-0 run to go into the half trailing by just one point. Several players and coaches on the Drexel bench let their displeasure be known to the officials with what they thought were questionable calls being made in the first half.
The second half was a different story. The Dragons came out of the locker room looking motivated and focused, and their play showed that. Right out of the gate the Dragons got off to an 18-4 run. Elon was able to make a comeback attempt with just under seven minutes left to play getting the game within five points.
Fortunately, Drexel’s defense came roaring back. The Dragons didn’t let Elon get any closer, and the team erupted for a 22-5 run to finish the game and earn a 63-41 victory. Camren Wynter led the Dragons with 27 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Zach Walton also was impressive, finishing with 16 points and James Butler contributed with his usual double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The Dragon’s next game came on Saturday, January 18, against the number one seed in the Colonial Athletic Conference, the Tribe of William & Mary (14-6,6-1 CAA). The Dragons were clear underdogs due largely to William & Mary’s Senior Nathan Knight, who is widely considered as one of the best big men in college basketball with averages of 20 points and 10 rebounds this season.
With the game also being homecoming for the Drexel Seniors, the team seemed to be playing with extra motivation. The student section was raucous and almost sold out which seemed to clearly fuel the Dragons effort.
While the first half was competitive, Drexel was in control and led by 10 at the end of the half. The Dragons were able to keep Knight in check in the first half and made sure not to allow anyone else on William and Mary to get on fire. William and Mary’s 24 points in the first half were the fewest points they’ve scored all season in a half.
In the second half, the Dragons had too much offensive firepower for William and Mary to keep pace. The Dragons outscored the Tribe 43-20 thanks to Drexel’s spread offensive attack. Senior Zach Walton led the way for the Dragons scoring a team-high 23 points, including five three-pointers. Camren Wynter continued his excellent play finishing with 20 points and seven assists. Despite the Dragons high scoring offense, it was the defense that won them this game.
William and Mary were held to 37 percent shooting and 22 percent from three. Coach Zach Spiker’s defensive plan was executed perfectly. While Nathan Knight finished the game with 28 points, the Dragons made sure that the other players on the Tribe didn’t have a major impact on the game, and they did just that to hand the Tribe their first CA loss of the season. The final score of the game ended up being 84-57.
This Victory was the biggest win of Drexels season so far. Beating top-ranked William and Mary is a major accomplishment for a Drexel program trying to establish themselves in the CAA conference. The win moves Drexel up to third in the CAA conference.