Northeastern (7-7) at Drexel (5-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 8, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Daskalakis Center (2,532) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: TCN. Home Record: Northeastern 2-5, Drexel 1-4. Away Record: Northeastern 3-1, Drexel 3-3. Neutral Record: Northeastern 2-1, Drexel 1-2. Conference Record: Northeastern 2-0, Drexel 1-1. Series Record:
GAME NOTES: One of only two teams in the Colonial Athletic Association to begin this week with a 2-0 league ledger, the Northeastern Huskies try to keep that mark unblemished on Tuesday night as they challenges the Drexel Dragons in Philadelphia.
In a conference where there are just two teams with overall winning records at the start of the week, Northeastern is tied for the top spot in the league with Towson at the moment. The Huskies have won two straight and three of their last four outings thanks to a 68-64 triumph over visiting UNC-Wilmington over the weekend.
As for Drexel, which will visit the Huskies in their other meeting of the season in early February, the loss of guard Chris Fouch back in November has taken a toll as they are now four games under .500 overall. The team has yet to win back-to-back games and it won't happen on Tuesday even with a victory because the last time out the squad suffered a 69-66 setback versus the aforementioned Tigers.
With the loss to Towson over the weekend, Drexel is now 1-1 in league play and has alternated wins and losses over the course of the last seven games.
In terms of the all-time series between these two schools, the Dragons own a 36-14 advantage dating back to the first meeting during the 1976-77 campaign.
Joel Smith connected on all eight of his free-throw chances over the weekend, finishing with a team-best 23 points in the close call versus UNCW. Also scoring in double figures for the hosts were Demetrius Pollard and Jonathan Lee with 17 and 10 points, respectively, the latter adding five assists and four steals in an effort to offset his mere 2-of-9 shooting behind the 3-point line and 6-of-11 at the charity stripe. In addition to forcing 18 turnovers, the Huskies also outscored the Seahawks at the foul line, 17-7. One of two players to have started every game thus far for Northeastern, it only makes sense that Smith is the top scorer overall for the group with his 16.5 ppg, while Jonathan Lee checks in with 15.0 ppg, but he has appeared in just five games. Quincy Ford (12.6 ppg) and Reggie Spencer (11.4 ppg) have focused most of their efforts in the paint where they have combined for more than 13 rpg.
Drexel shot a dreadful 7-of-25 from the floor in the first half, including 1- of-8 behind the 3-point line, against Towson over the weekend, but the squad actually made a strong run in the second half before suffering the three-point home loss. Nevertheless, the Dragons could have easily put that one in the win column as they forced 20 turnovers but came up short at the free-throw line where they converted just 20-of-34. Frantz Massenat, responsible for six of his team's 13 miscues, led with 17 points, followed by Derrick Thomas and Damion Lee with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Daryl McCoy cleared a team- best 11 rebounds and made three steals in the losing cause. The absence of Fouch (16.7 ppg over three games) means Lee is the top scorer for the team presently with his 18.1 ppg, his 5.2 rpg and 25 assists placing him third in both categories for the Dragons as well. McCoy doesn't figure heavily into the scoring with just 4.8 rpg, but his presence on the floor is explained through his team-high 8.9 rpg.
Losing a key contributor is never easy for any team and while the Dragons are working hard on life without Fouch, it will continue to be a struggle against teams such as Northeastern.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northeastern 69, Drexel 61
01/08 10:32:05 ET