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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 29, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mack Sports Complex (5,023) -- Hempstead, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Drexel 4-4, Hofstra 5-5. Away Record: Drexel 4-4, Hofstra 1-8. Neutral Record: Drexel 2-1, Hofstra 1-1. Conference Record: Drexel 2-4, Hofstra 3-3. Series Record: Drexel leads, 43-33.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams from the Colonial Athletic Association trying to avoid three-game slides get together in New York this evening, as the Hofstra Pride entertain the Drexel Dragons at the Mack Sports Complex.
Currently playing at .500 on the road through eight games, the Dragons have been roughed up over the last month or so with just two wins in the last eight outings. The team is coming off a narrow 68-66 setback against William & Mary at home on Saturday, the second straight defeat for the team as it fell to 2-4 in league play.
As for the Pride, they are playing for the second time in three nights after being blown away by Towson on the road on Monday at SECU Arena, 76-58. The loss was the second in a row and the third in four games for a Hofstra group that is now an even 3-3 in league play.
The Dragons, who will host Hofstra in just over two weeks in Philadelphia, lead the all-time series by a 43-33 margin.
Drexel led by as many as nine points against the Tribe on Saturday, but that advantage disappeared in the second half while the Dragons were outscored by 11-3 at the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes of action. Chris Fouch kept the hosts in the mix by producing a game-high 31 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the floor, including 5-of-11 beyond the arc, but it wasn't enough. Frantz Massenat tacked on 19 points as he converted 8-of-14 from the floor, but that means the remaining Dragons combined for only seven field goals on 20 attempts.
Currently seventh on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,552 points, Fouch has landed in double figures in all but one game this season and is scoring 23.3 ppg versus CAA opponents thus far. Massenat has also been pouring it on against the rest of the league with his 22.7 ppg, not to mention handing out 38 assists, but still it is hard to get around his mere 27.3 percent accuracy behind the 3-point line. As a group, the Dragons are attempting nearly one-third of all their field goals in conference from beyond the arc.
Hofstra and Towson both knocked down 12 field goals in the first half of their meeting on Monday night, but in addition the Pride were outscored at the free- throw line by a 12-2 margin, giving the hosts a sizeable lead at the break and the inside track to the 18-point win. Utilizing just two players off the bench, Hofstra was paced by Zeke Upshaw with his 20 points, followed by Dion Nesmith with 15, while reserves Chris Jenkins and Darren Payen combined for just two points in 42 minutes.
Upshaw is the top scorer for the Pride in conference games, putting up 20.2 ppg, thanks to his 42.3 percent accuracy beyond the arc which is actually better than his 41.4 percent effort from the floor overall. Nesmith accounts for 13.3 ppg and combines with Upshaw to produce 38 of the unit's 61 assists in those six games as well. Were it not for the fact that CAA opponents have converted just 64.2 percent at the free-throw line, the Pride might not be in the position they are in right now.
As long as Fouch and Massenat can share the ball enough for both to be satisfied with their respective offensive performances, the Dragons should be well enough off to come out with the win tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 72, Hofstra 66
01/29 10:35:55 ET
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