Drexel (14-11) at James Madison (10-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 19, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: JMU Convocation Center (7,612) -- Harrisonburg, Virginia. Television: CSN-MA+, TCN-PHI, CSS. Home Record: Drexel 7-4, JMU 4-4. Away Record: Drexel 5-6, JMU 4-11. Neutral Record: Drexel 2-1, JMU 2-2. Conference Record: Drexel 6-6, JMU 5-8. Series Record: Drexel leads, 18-5.
GAME NOTES: With three victories in their last four games, the Drexel Dragons are climbing the ladder in the Colonial Athletic Association standings. Tonight they'll try to sweep the season series from the James Madison Dukes when the teams collide at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Dragons are 6-6 in the CAA, which is good for fourth place, two games behind William & Mary. Drexel is coming off a 74-63 home win over Hofstra Sunday. Frantz Massenat scored a game-high 24 points to go with seven assists. Chris Fouch added 16 points for Drexel. Rodney Williams and Dartaye Ruffin chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Included in Drexel's recent success is a 78-60 home win over James Madison on Feb. 8. Fouch went 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and scored 26 points, while Williams had 14 points and 10 boards. Charles Cooke had 18 points and Ron Curry 17 for the Dukes.
Fouch and Massenat are both averaging nearly 18 ppg and are currently ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the CAA in scoring. Massenat (5.1 apg) leads the league in assists. Tavon Allen (12.3 ppg) is among the top-15 in the conference in scoring. Dartaye Ruffin (7.5 rpg) heads the team on the glass and is shooting 59.3 percent from the field. The Dragons are shooting just 32.2 percent from beyond the arc, which is sixth in the conference. They are second in the CAA with 12.5 apg, but next-to-last in steals (4.2 spg). On the positive side, they have the best turnover margin (+2.88) in the CAA. The Dragons enter this game leading the nation in fewest turnovers per game at 8.2.
James Madison has won two of its last three contests, including a 64-62 home decision against UNC-Wilmington on Saturday. Curry scored 13 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, and his jumper with 32 seconds to play in regulation lifted the Dukes to victory.
The Dukes are ranked fourth in scoring defense in the CAA (68.1 ppg), and are also fourth in free-throw percentage (.683), just behind the Dragons (.693). James Madison is also next-to-last in 3-point field goal percentage (.272).
Leading the way for the Dukes is Andre Nation. Despite playing in only 11 games, nine of which have been starts, the sophomore guard is averaging 16.0 ppg. He's also the leading rebounder (5.1 rpg). Nation had seven steals against UNCW, and that matched the school record. Cooke (14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is shooting 71.2 percent from foul line (116-of-163). Andrey Semenov (10.8 ppg), who went 4-for-7 from the arc to lead JMU with 18 points in the win over UNC, is the team's best 3-point shooter (.336). Yohanny Dalembert, a 6-foot-8 forward, has been honored as the co-Rookie of the Week in the CAA along with Drexel's Williams. Dalembert averaged 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds during the three-game week for the Dukes.
The Dukes have been unable to prevent major runs of late and that's really hurt the team. Over the last four games, James Madison has allowed opponent scoring runs with a margin of at least 15 points. That includes a 21-4 spurt by Drexel. For the Dukes to prevail, they're going to have to lock down Massenat and limit Fouch offensively, but it may prove to be a daunting task.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 67, James Madison 64
02/19 10:34:06 ET