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William & Mary (10-7) at Drexel (10-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Daskalakis Center (2,532) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: W&M 6-2, Drexel 4-3. Away Record: W&M 4-5, Drexel 4-4. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, Drexel 2-1. Conference Record: W&M 2-2, Drexel 2-3. Series Record: Drexel leads, 19-10.
GAME NOTES: The William & Mary Tribe try to avoid back-to-back defeats for the second time this season, as they match-up with the Drexel Dragons in Colonial Athletic Association play at the Daskalakis Center this afternoon.
The Tribe, currently 2-2 in CAA play, have lost two of the last three outings, the latest decision being a 77-60 setback versus Hofstra earlier this week. The team is playing just under .500 (4-5) on the road in 2013-14.
Meanwhile, the Dragons have also dropped two of their last three and five of the last seven games, which is why they are only 2-3 in conference play. On Monday, Drexel hosted Delaware and fell to the streaking Blue Hens in a 90-77 final.
The Dragons lead the all-time series by a margin of 19-10 dating back to the first meeting during the 1983-84 campaign. However, W&M won the first encounter this season earlier in the month by a score of 85-73 at home, as Marcus Thornton scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures for the Tribe. Drexel, which shot only 3-of-18 beyond the arc in that contest, was led by Frantz Massenat with 19 points before he fouled out.
The Tribe trailed Hofstra by just a single point at the break in the last outing, but then the visitors made only 2-of-12 from 3-point range in the second half and were outscored at the free-throw line by a 16-5 margin in the period. Marcus Thornton came off the bench to supply 17 points and five assists for W&M, followed by Tim Rusthoven with 13 points and a team-best eight rebounds in the losing cause.
The leading scorer in two straight and five of the last six games for the Tribe, Thornton is responsible for 18.7 ppg, having knocked down 49 of his 96 field goals from 3-point range. Rusthoven is responsible for another 13.0 ppg and is second on the rebounding list with 5.7 per outing, although his mere 62.3 percent accuracy at the free-throw line is rather weak and has brought the rest of the team down to only 68.4 percent at the charity stripe.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, they were catching a very hot Delaware squad earlier this week as the Blue Hens blew into Philadelphia on their way back to the First State. In the process, Drexel allowed the visitors to shoot 56.5 percent from the field during the double-digit setback. The Dragons, who turned the ball over just four times, were led by Massenat with 20 points and 10 assists, followed by Tavon Allen and Chris Fouch with 19 and 18 points, respectively.
The offense for Drexel has picked up the pace in conference play, going from 70.6 ppg overall to 78.0 ppg in those five contests. However, at the same time the defense has become more lenient as well, giving up a massive 81.2 ppg in league action, compared to 70.3 ppg through 18 games. Fouch is scoring 18.2 ppg for the season, but has gone to 21.8 ppg in CAA battles, with Massenat (17.1 ppg overall) experiencing a similar jump with his 23.4 ppg, although his 3-point shooting remains a major issue for the program moving forward.
The Tribe already showed this week that a high-scoring game does not fit their profile, so as long as Drexel can keep a fast pace this is a meeting that should fall in favor of the hosts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 77, William & Mary 70
01/25 10:23:00 ET