James Madison (8-15) at Drexel (12-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Daskalakis Center (2,531) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: JMU 2-4, DU 5-4. Away Record: JMU 4-9, DU 5-5. Neutral Record: JMU 2-2, DU 2-1. Conference Record: JMU 3-6, DU 4-5. Series Record: Drexel leads, 17-5.
GAME NOTES: The James Madison Dukes will try to halt a two-game skid as they take on the Drexel Dragons in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup at the Daskalakis Center.
Matt Brady's Dukes dropped to a 3-6 CAA record when they were defeated, 80-71, at Towson on Tuesday. JMU has struggled on the road this season, winning only four of its nine away games. The Dukes' lack of success so far is due to their lack of offensive firepower. The team's average of 62.7 ppg is the lowest among CAA schools and it is second to last in field goal percentage (.418) as well. JMU will return home on Monday to host Hofstra.
Drexel will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since mid- December on Saturday. The Dragons coasted to a 61-50 victory over UNC Wilmington in their last outing to improve to 12-10 overall and 4-5 in league play. Due to a handful of injuries, coach Bruiser Flint was forced to give some of his underclassmen playing time throughout January. Drexel, which is nearly back to full strength, will travel to South Carolina to battle the College of Charleston on Thursday.
The home team won both times JMU and the Dragons played last season. Drexel downed the Dukes, 60-48, in Philadelphia on Feb. 10, 2013 in the most recent tilt to extend their all-time series lead to 17-5.
In JMU's loss to Towson, Andre Nation led all scorers in the game with 20 points. Ron Curry added 13 points and Charles Cooke contributed 10 points with seven rebounds. The Dukes came out of the gate flat, shooting 35.3 percent from the floor including 0-of-7 clip from 3-point range en route to a 13-point halftime deficit. They went on to outscore Towson in the second half, but the damage done in the first half was too much to overcome. Nation has consistently been JMU's go-to-guy as he paces the squad with 17 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Cooke is the second-option offensively and nets 14.5 ppg, while Curry (11.4 ppg, 3.2 apg) and Andrey Semenov (10.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg) also play key roles.
The Dragons received a huge spark off the bench against UNCW from Tavon Allen, who scored a team-high 17 points to lead three players in double-figures. Chris Fouch connected on three shots from beyond the arc en route to 16 points, while Frantz Massenat tallied 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Drexel committed only four turnovers and sank 16-of-17 attempts at the charity stripe in the contest. The Dragons are in the middle of the CAA's pack in both scoring offense (70.3 ppg) and scoring defense (69.7 ppg). Fouch and Massenat are responsible for over 36 ppg, while Dartaye Ruffin is the top rebounder with 7.4 per tilt.
The Dragons are a much different team now compared to when they began CAA play shorthanded. JMU has been solid defensively, but it will have trouble containing and keeping up with Drexel's trio of Fouch, Massenat and Allen. The Dragons' homecourt advantage could also play a role as they have performed very well in Philadelphia over the past few seasons.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 72, James Madison 62
02/08 10:24:54 ET