Drexel (8-5) at William & Mary (8-5)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 8, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kaplan Arena (8,600) -- Williamsburg, Virginia.
Television: None. Home Record: Drexel 3-1, William & Mary 4-2. Away Record:
Drexel 3-3, William & Mary 4-3. Neutral Record: Drexel 2-1, William & Mary
0-0. Conference Record: Drexel 0-0, William & Mary 0-0. Series Record: Drexel
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams with identical records will get their Colonial
Athletic Association schedules underway on Wednesday night, as the Drexel
Dragons take on the William & Mary Tribe at Kaplan Arena.
Even though Drexel is 8-5, just like William & Mary, the Dragons have ben
stumbling of late with losses in three of their last four games. The most
recent letdown was a 66-49 decision to Southern Miss on the road, where Drexel
has split six bouts. The team will be back home on Saturday to host
As for William & Mary, the last two times out have yielded victories, as have
four of the last five contests overall, the most recent of which being a 78-67
victory over Western Illinois this past Saturday. The Tribe were a solid 4-2
at home during their non-league schedule. Up next is a trip to Delaware.
Both of these teams were near the middle of the CAA pack last season, with
Drexel finishing 9-9 in league play and William & Mary at 7-11. Drexel won the
only meeting between the two squads with a 59-48 road triumph. It was the
fourth straight win for the Dragons and pushed their edge in the all-time
series to 19-9.
The Dragons failed to get many of their shots to fall in their recent loss to
Southern Miss, as they shot just 38.3 percent from the floor, although eight
of their 18 field goals came from beyond the arc. Tavon Allen tallied 15
points as one of two players to reach double figures.
Drexel's strength is not at the offensive end. It is holding teams to 66.2 ppg
and 40.8 percent shooting when backed up on defense. However, that defensive
effort is sometimes not enough, with the Dragons only netting 67.7 ppg and
connecting on 41.5 percent of their total shots. Chris Fouch (16.8 ppg) is the
leading scorer on the roster, but he suffers from some erratic shooting,
knocking down only 39.1 percent from the floor. Against Southern Miss, he
produced 13 points, but on just 5-of-13 shooting. Frantz Massenat (14.6 ppg,
4.5 apg) makes up for his poor shooting (.384) to a degree by leading the team
in assists. Allen (12.6 ppg) is the third member of the unit scoring in double
With Tim Rusthoven out due to an illness, Marcus Thornton threw the Tribe on
his back in their recent win over Western Illinois. Thornton scored 25 points
and had six assists to match six rebounds in carrying William & Mary, which
knocked down 12-of-24 attempts from beyond the arc in the victory.
Thornton (19.5 ppg) is more than capable of shouldering the bulk of the
offensive load, as he leads the CAA in scoring. Seeing him be more of a
playmaker was perhaps an even better sign, as he is only averaging 2.8 apg.
Rusthoven (13.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is one of only three members of the W&M roster
scoring more than 7.5 ppg, so his absence cannot be endured for long. He is
still listed as questionable. Omar Prewitt (14.1 ppg, 5 rpg) provides a nice
second option off the bench as a knockdown shooter and an effective rebounder.
Much of this game hinges on whether Rusthoven can play. The Tribe will need
every advantage it can get against the strong backcourt trio of Massenat, Lee
and Fouch, who will force the ball out of Thornton's hands as much as
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 68, William & Mary 64
01/08 10:36:36 ET