Drexel (0-2) at Penn (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Drexel 0-1, Penn 1-0. Away Record: Drexel 0-1, Penn 0-0. Neutral Record: Drexel 0-0, Penn 0-2. Conference Record: Drexel 0-0, Penn 0-0. Series Record: Penn leads, 15-8.
GAME NOTES: The Drexel Dragons are set to tangle with the Penn Quakers at The Palestra, as the neighboring Philadelphia Big Five programs renew their rivalry in the Battle for 33rd Street.
Penn holds a 15-8 lead in the head-to-head series. The teams did not face each other last season after meeting each previous year since 1997-98. Drexel has won four in a row against the Quakers.
Drexel is off to a rough 0-2 start that has seen the team drop two overtime contests to begin the 2012-13 campaign. After falling at Kent State last Friday (66-62 OT), the Dragons suffered an 86-84 loss to Illinois State in their home opener this past Thursday. Bruiser Flint has been stuck on 199 victories with the school, as he takes aim at win number 200 for the third time this season. Following this tilt, the Dragons will head to the west coast to take part in next week's Anaheim Classic.
After opening its season with a home win over UMBC last Friday, Penn suffered back-to-back losses in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Charlottesville earlier this week. The Quakers were routed by Delaware on Monday, 84-69, and followed that up with a 62-53 setback to Fairfield on Tuesday. After today's contest, the Quakers will resume play in the NIT event in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania against Fordham on Monday and then Lehigh on Tuesday.
After a pair of heartbreaking losses, Flint hopes his team has the resolve to get up from the canvas and swing back. Against Kent State in the season opener, Chris Fouch buried six 3-pointers en route to a game-high 24 points. One of those threes tied the game with 19 seconds to play in overtime. However, teammate Derrick Thomas, a senior committed a foul on the ensuing inbound pass with just one second on the clock, and Kent State won it with free throws. Fast-forward to Thursday's game against Illinois State. Leading by two in the final seconds, Thomas missed the front end of a one-and-one, and teammate Dartaye Ruffin was called for a foul on the other end with two seconds remaining. The Redbirds made both free throws to send the game to overtime, and they scored seven straight points in the extra session to seal the outcome.
Devoid of any seniors on the roster, one would figure the Quakers were more susceptible to suffering those kinds of setbacks. However, they had their own problems in Charlottesville. Junior Fran Dougherty was one of the few bright spots from the NIT Season Tip-Off. He scored a career-high 21 points against Delaware, and then broke that mark by scoring 31 of his team's 53 points against Fairfield the next night, also collecting 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Dougherty's 31 points were the most by a Penn player since Ibrahim Jaaber scored 32 against Seton Hall on Dec. 23, 2006. Rebounding was a big issue in Monday's loss, as Delaware pulled down 47 rebounds. On Tuesday, the Stags wore Penn down with a 19-of-23 effort at the free-throw line (.826). Dougherty was the only Penn player in double figures.
As the adage goes, you can throw out the records when these two schools meet. It will be interesting to see how Drexel responds from those tough overtime losses, while Penn needs someone else besides Dougherty to step up on the offensive end of the floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 73, Penn 69
11/17 10:33:36 ET