In its penultimate regular season game, Drexel started off strong before holding off a late Old Dominion charge and securing an 81-77 victory. The Dragons let a 15-point lead completely evaporate as the Monarchs came back to tie the game in the second half before a late Drexel run put the game away. Letting a last-place Old Dominion squad back into the game was a discouraging sign for a Drexel bunch looking to get its act together with the CAA conference tournament just a little over a week away. Still, unlike its previous couple games, the Dragons were able to execute down the stretch and obtain the win, ugly as it may have been.
Damion Lee was the star of the show, tallying a career-high 34 points on 11-14 shooting, including 7-8 from downtown, while also securing a game-high 10 rebounds. Old Dominion’s DeShawn Painter had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort. Drexel currently holds the 6-seed in the conference tournament and can only move down with a loss and a William & Mary win in the teams’ final games of the regular season.
With Temple down 5 to Detroit with 2 minutes left and its NCAA tournament hopes about to take a serious blow, Khalif Wyatt did what great leaders do, going on a 10-0 run himself for a Temple 84-78 victory. It was an off-shooting night for Wyatt until that moment, as he recorded a team-high 20 points but on only 4-14 shooting from the field; but he was there when his team needed him most, just as he has been throughout the season. Temple would not have been in position for Wyatt’s heroics without strong play throughout the game from Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (13 points, game-high 12 rebounds), and Jake O’Brien (16 points off the bench on 6-6 shooting).
Detroit’s Ray McCallum looked every bit the NBA prospect he is purported to be, finishing with 21 points (on 8-17 shooting), 7 rebounds, and 6 assists (against only 1 turnover). In the end though, it was Wyatt and the Owls’ night as they continue to play their best ball of the season entering March. Temple now sits tied for 5th in the Atlantic 10, one game back of Butler and La Salle for 3rd place and one of the byes awarded to the top 4 seeds in the conference tournament.
7:00 PM: Pennsylvania (7-19, 4-5 Ivy) vs. Dartmouth (6-18, 2-8 Ivy)
Following a disappointing loss at Columbia Saturday, the Quakers travel home to take on a last-place Dartmouth squad. The Big Green are known for their success in youth soccer but seem to be struggling with men’s college basketball. Maybe they’re not bringing the goat to the games? These two teams actually met less than two weeks ago with Pennsylvania defeating Dartmouth on the road, 67-57. The Quakers actually trailed by 12 at halftime before storming back in the second half buoyed by outstanding shooting both from the field (56.1% on the game) and the free throw line (19-23, 82.6%). Gabas Maldunas had an excellent game for Dartmouth, with 19 points and 10 rebounds; the Quakers will need to do a better job containing the Lithunian big man on the inside in this rematch. By keeping him off the offensive glass and restricting the poor-shooting Dartmouth offense (39.6% FG shooting on the season) to the outside, the Quakers should cruise to an easy season sweep.