GAME NOTES: The Delaware Blue Hens try to halt a three-game slide on Monday night, as they challenge the Drexel Dragons in Colonial Athletic Association action at the Daskalakis Center in Philadelphia.
Sporting an overall record of 8-11, which happens to match Drexel entering the week, the Blue Hens have now gone more than two weeks without a victory, the last triumph coming against Georgia State (86-83) on Jan. 12. Last week, Delaware tied a season-low with just 50 points in a 14-point setback against James Madison on the road.
The Dragons, who are one game better than Delaware in the win column in the CAA, are enjoying a three-game win streak right now, thanks to a 68-57 triumph over visiting Georgia State on Saturday.
In a series that dates back more than a century, the Blue Hens hold a slim 73-71 advantage over Drexel.
Trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, the Blue Hens made a total of only five field goals in the period, missing all seven tries behind the 3- point line, as they eventually suffered the double-digit road loss at JMU. Delaware finished the meeting a mere 28.9 percent from the field and had almost as many turnovers (11) as made baskets (13). Devon Saddler recorded a team-best 16 points and also captured six rebounds for the Hens, followed by Jarvis Threatt with 12 points, but the latter hit just one of his nine chances from the floor. One of the top scorers in CAA, Saddler is pouring in 19.5 ppg thanks in large part to his 95-of-115 effort at the charity stripe. Threatt (12.7 ppg) and Jamelle Hagins (12.1 ppg) are key offensive contributors, with Hagins also leading the program on the glass with 11.3 rpg, while also logging 47 of the squad's 92 blocked shots along the way.
The Drexel defense was primed and ready for the Panthers over the weekend, holding the visitors to a mere 27.7 percent shooting from the floor (13- of-47), but it was by no means a blowout victory for the Dragons as GSU converted 25-of-29 at the free-throw line in order to keep things interesting. Damion Lee led the way with a game-high 20 points for the hosts, followed by Frantz Massenat with 15 and eight assists over 34 minutes of action. Derrick Thomas tossed in another 14 points as the Dragons shot a near-perfect 21-of-22 at the charity stripe on the day. Through 19 games the leader on offense for the Dragons is Lee who is averaging 17.4 ppg, surging ahead of Chris Fouch who has been out of action for months due to an ankle injury. Also playing a major role for Drexel is Massenat with not only 14.4 ppg, but also a team-best 83 assists which makes it somewhat easier to overlook the fact that he is shooting just 39.0 percent from the field at the moment.
Oddly enough, Drexel has won only twice in seven home games this season, which should give the Blue Hens reason to be encouraged, but if Delaware comes out flat again it won't make any difference.