Drexel (1-1) vs. Elon (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 18, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The RAC (8,000) -- Piscataway, New Jersey. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Drexel 0-0, Elon 1-0. Away Record: Drexel 1-1, Elon 1-1. Neutral Record: Drexel 0-0, Elon 0-0. Conference Record: Drexel 0-0, Elon 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAMES NOTES: As part of the NIT Season Tip-Off, the Drexel Dragons will clash with the Elon Phoenix in a non-conference duel at the RAC.
Drexel spent its first two games of the year on the road, with a loss to UCLA (72-67) followed by a win against Illinois State (78-70). This will be the first neutral court game of the year for the Dragons, who went 1-3 in those games last season. Drexel will move on to play either Rutgers or Canisius on Tuesday in this event.
Elon will be trying to rebound from its first loss of the season in this tournament as the Phoenix fell to Charlotte, 83-69, on the road last time out. The Phoenix had opened the year with two victories thanks to a 114-64 rout at home over Washington & Lee and a 75-48 triumph over the Marist Red Foxes. Elon participated in the Maui Invitational last season and went 3-1 during the event, though the Phoenix hosted three of those contests in one of the sub- regional branches of the tournament. Like Drexel, Elon's next opponent will be determined by Monday's game between Canisius and Rutgers.
This is the first meeting between these two programs.
Five players scored in double figures and the Dragons hit on 46.7 percent of their shots from the field to overtake Illinois State in their first win of the year. Drexel outscored the Redbirds, 36-28, in the paint and also scored 15 points on the fast break.
Chris Fouch (18.5 ppg) poured in a game-high 26 points in the win over Illinois State. Fouch is the leading scorer early on even though his shooting has not been exceptionally strong, at just 41.4 percent. Frantz Massenat (16.0 ppg, 6.0 apg) has been both a dominant scorer and a facilitator for the Dragons, leading the team by a wide margin in assists. Massenat had 12 points and seven assists in the win over Illinois State. Damion Lee (14.0 ppg, 3.0 apg) adds even more scoring punch and passing ability for the Dragons in the backcourt, while Kazembe Abif (9.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg) is coming off a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Even though the Phoenix had four players in double figures and outscored Charlotte from beyond the arc (30-12), they were unable to stop the 49ers. Elon allowed Charlotte to knock down more than 50 percent from the field, while the Phoenix had a 23-5 deficit in points from the free-throw line.
Even after the loss the Phoenix still own a more than 20-point scoring margin on the season, averaging 86 points per game, while allowing 65. Elon has also excelled from the field, netting 53.8 percent overall, including a 42.7 percent showing from beyond the arc. Of the five players averaging in double figures, Tanner Samson (15.3 ppg) and Sebastian Koch (14.0 ppg, 5.3 apg) have been the most productive. Both are skilled 3-point shooters with Samson netting 14-of-25 attempts from 3-point distance, while Koch has hit 9-of-25. Koch also serves as the best passer on the team. Austin Hamilton (12.3 ppg, 4.7 apg) is also adept in that regard. Lucas Troutman (13.7 ppg) and Ryley Beaumont (13.3 ppg) provide further depth each time out.
With their litany of scorers the Phoenix can be tough to handle. However, Drexel has exceptional defensive presence on the perimeter thanks to Massenat and Lee and that will slow down the 3-point assault for Elon and get Drexel into the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 68, Elon 62
11/18 10:33:15 ET