Drexel (7-2) at Saint Joseph's (4-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hagan Arena (4,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: TCN-PHI. Home Record: Drexel 2-0, SJU 1-2. Away Record: Drexel 3-1, SJU 1-1. Neutral Record: Drexel 2-1, SJU 2-1. Conference Record: Drexel 0-0, SJU 0-0. Series Record: Saint Joseph's leads, 44-9.
GAME NOTES: After an 11-day absence from the court, the Saint Joseph's Hawks will get set to host a cross-town rival, as they face off with the Drexel Dragons at Hagan Arena.
The Dragons earned a 72-58 victory over Davidson on Sunday for their fourth straight victory. The win pushed Drexel to a 7-2 overall mark, including a 3-1 record on the road. Up next for the Dragons is a test against St. Francis (PA).
This contest marks the third straight for Saint Joseph's against a team from its home city. The first two battles did not go well for the Hawks, who were handed losses from Temple (77-69) and Villanova (98-68). They are now an even 4-4 overall and just 1-2 at home. A trip to face Loyola-Maryland is next on the schedule.
Saint Joseph's has won 44 of the previous 53 meetings. That includes a 63-49 triumph last season, which was the third in the last four matchups for the Hawks.
Even though they only forced six turnovers against Davidson, the Dragons played well defensively to earn the victory. Drexel held the Wildcats to just 32.8 percent shooting during the contest, while Frantz Massenat scored a game- high 25 points to carry the offense.
Massenat (16.7 ppg, 5 apg) and Chris Fouch (19 ppg) have really had to step things up since Damion Lee (13 ppg) underwent surgery on his right knee at the end of November. The backcourt duo has been doing a solid job, with each scoring at a high level, while playing more than 35 minutes per game. Fouch scored 17 points as the only other player in double figures for Drexel against Davidson. Tavon Allen (12.3 ppg) is another strong scorer. Foul trouble limited him against Davidson, as he had only seven points before fouling out. Dartaye Ruffin (5.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and Kazembe Abif (7.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg) don't score as much, but are valuable for their work on the boards.
After hanging with Villanova in the first half, the Hawks fell apart down the stretch. They connected on only 30 percent of their field-goal attempts, including an 0-of-9 effort from beyond the arc, in the final 20 minutes. Langston Galloway finished with a team-high 18 points, but hit just 6-of-16 shots.
Galloway (18.1 ppg) is normally more efficient with his shooting. He has connected on 44.6 percent of his field goal attempts. However, Galloway does not provide much else beyond his pure scoring ability. Ronald Roberts (17 ppg, 7.5 rpg) adds strong efforts on the glass to compliment his scoring. The 6- foot-8 forward had 12 points and eight rebounds against Villanova. DeAndre' Bembry (11 ppg) connects on 51.6 percent of his field-goal attempts, as the team's third and final player averaging in double figures. Depth is not a strength for the Hawks. Daryus Quarles (4.6 ppg) is the only reserve putting in more than three points per game.
So far the Dragons have not seemed to miss Lee very much. Against Saint Joseph's that success will be put to the test. However, right now Drexel is playing the better brand of basketball, which should continue on Wednesday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 73, Saint Joseph's 71
12/18 10:31:45 ET