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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 29, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Daskalakis Athletic Center (2,532) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 5-1, Drexel 3-0. Away Record: Buffalo 0-2, Drexel 3-2. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-1, Drexel 2-1. Conference Record: Buffalo 0-0, Drexel 0-0. Series Record: Buffalo leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The non-conference slate continues for Buffalo and Drexel, as the Mid-American Conference Bulls travel to Philadelphia to face the Colonial Athletic Association Dragons, who are perfect on their home court this season.
With five wins in their last six games, the Dragons have jumped out to an early 8-3 record and currently sit atop the conference in terms of their overall record. The team plays its first CAA matchup on Jan. 8 against William & Mary. Drexel is coming off a 10-point win, 59-49, over St. Francis (Pa).
The Bulls strung together four straight wins after falling to a quick 0-2 to start the season. However, since then, they have lost two of their most recent three contests. Buffalo is coming off a 30-point win over America East program Binghamton, 87-57, which ended a two-game losing skid on Monday, Dec. 23.
The Bulls outscored Binghamton 67-34 over the final 25 minutes of regulation to take a commanding lead. Buffalo trailed in the first half, 23-20, but went on a 20-4 run over the final 5:44 of the first half to go into the locker rooms with a 40-27 advantage. The run didn't stop at the break, either. Buffalo came out in the second half and scored the first six points and went on a 16-3 run in the first four minutes and 15 seconds of the second stanza. Senior Javon McCrea contributed nine points to the run, and finished the contest as the game's leading scorer with 25 points. McCrea also added a game- high 14 rebounds. The Bulls hit six 3-pointers in the second half, including three from Josh Freelove and two from Shannon Evans.
McCrea and Freelove are the top scorers this season for Buffalo, a team that averages 74 points a night. McCrea's average comes in at 17.4 per game, including an outstanding 57 percent shooting touch from the floor. Freelove is second on the team at 13.3 points per contest. McCrea is also the team's top rebounder, pulling down 9.7 boards per contest and averaging 2.6 blocks per game.
In Drexel's win over St. Francis, the Dragons held the Red Flash to 49 total points, the fewest allowed by the team this season. The Red Flash (2-9) pulled to within 34-32 in the second half with 15:55 remaining, but the Dragons answered by going on a 9-0 run to grab a double-digit lead with under 13 minutes to play. At one point in the second half, Drexel held St. Francis to zero points in a six and a half minute span. Chris Foush scored 15 points for the Dragons, while Frantz Massenat added 13 of his own. Kazembe Abif grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
Foush and Massenat, like McRea and Freelove, are the team's one-two scoring punch. Foush averages 17.5 points per game, while Massenat comes in with a 15.6 points per game average. Massenat also leads the team in assists per game, dishing out 4.5 per outing with a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. Abif is second on the team in rebounds, averaging 8.1 per game. Senior Dartaye Ruffin is just slightly ahead in average with an 8.2 clip.
With wins over teams like Davidson, Rutgers and Tennessee State, and a perfect 3-0 home record so far, it's hard to see the Dragons faltering in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 73, Buffalo 67
12/29 10:31:57 ET
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