Following a heart-breaking double overtime loss to Delaware Thursday night, surely Drexel had some luck coming their way from the basketball gods. Unfortunately, the season of what-could-have-been continued for the Dragons as they lost a nailbiter 72-71. Drexel had three chances to tie the game in the last 10 seconds but Damion Lee and and Derrick Thomas were both unable to convert before Kazembe Abif was fouled and had two shots from the line to tie the game. Abif, a 67.4% free throw shooter on the season, only converted one of two free throws and the Dragons lost out on an opportunity to take down the number two team in the conference.
Frantz Massenat scored a game-high 24 points for Drexel going 10-12 from the line. However, the Dragons had no answer for either Towson’s Mr. Do-Everything Jerrelle Benimon who totaled 19 points and 9 rebounds, or Jerome Hairston who recorded a season-high 20 points.
St. Joseph’s moved to .500 in Atlantic 10 play in cruising to an easy 71-59 victory over the George Washington Colonials. The Hawks jumped out to a 20-2 lead and still found themselves up 11 at the half, not looking back from there. Langston Galloway recorded a season-high 26 points scorching the nets from long range (6-9 3PT). The Hawks put forth a solid effort on the glass out-rebounding GW 33-31, a team who came in 41st in the country in that category. St. Joseph’s will next travel to Saint Louis Wednesday night to take on the first-place Billikens.
Villanova cemented another block in the foundation of its strong tournament resume, winning a close battle over nationally-ranked Marquette, 60-56. Sophomore guard Darrun Hilliard scored a game-high 22 points on a efficient 7-10 outing from the field. The Wildcats were able to slow down the high-powered Golden Eagles’ offense, holding them to an 86.6 offensive rating, compared to their 114.8 rating on the season. Ball security was the name of the game as the Wildcats only committed 10 turnovers while forcing 19 giveaways from Marquette. The win was Villanova’s third win over a ranked opponent this season and brings them within 2.5 games of first place in an extremely competitive Big East conference.
Coming off their best stretch of basketball all season, the Quakers came out last night with easily their poorest effort of the 2012-13 campaign in a 58-41 defeat. Against a beatable Columbia team, Pennsylvania put up by far its lowest point total of the season behind a horrific 14-48 shooting performance from the field (including 1-11 from behind the arc). Leading scorer Miles Cartwright was particularly off his game missing 9 of 10 field goal attempts. The only encouraging note from last night’s action was a second consecutive strong performance from freshman Tony Hicks who tallied a game-high 19 points on 8-15 shooting (the only member of the team to shoot .500 or better on the evening). The Quakers will look to get back on track Friday against Dartmouth.
2:00 PM: La Salle @ Rhode Island
Following a poor outing versus Temple earlier in the week, the Explorers will look to bounce back against a scuffling Rhode Island squad. The Rams have not made the NCAA tournament since 1999 when the candyman Lamar Odom walked around campus in Kingston and this season has proved to be another down year. On this year’s edition of the Rams, Xavier Munford is the player to stop, averaging 17.3 ppg, though on an inefficient 38.6% from the field. La Salle currently finds itself 2 games back of first place in Atlantic 10 conference with 4 games to play. The Explorers ought to take care of business and stay among the conference elite.
4:00 PM: Temple @ Charlotte
The Owls travel to Charlotte after securing a one point victory against the 49ers at home earlier this month. Khalif Wyatt had a game-high 25 points in that contest while Jake O’Brien registered a season-high 22 points. Defensively in this match-up, Temple will look to pack the paint and stymie Charlotte’s interior scoring. The 49ers are a terrible outside shooting team, only knocking down 26.9% of their three-pointers this season. Additionally, Charlotte has been the luckiest team this season according to Ken Pomeroy’s basketball ratings. After a mid-season slump, Temple has turned things around lately, winning 4 of its past 5 games. If Temple brings the level of play it did in its dominating performance against La Salle Thursday night, it should make that streak 5 of 6.