PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Drexel Dragons will be home again on Thursday night as they welcome James Madison University to the DAC for a Colonial Athletic Association match-up.
The Dragons are 9-14 on the season (3-7 in the CAA) and coming off impressive back-to-back come-from-behind home wins last week. On Thursday night they beat Elon 83-79 and followed that up with a 69-68 victory over Northeastern on Saturday.
“In these games we were down seven [at the] under four mark both times, maybe even a little bit later [against] Northeastern, and the guys just stuck with it,” Drexel head coach Zack Spiker tells KYW Newsradio. “We didn’t try to take hard or difficult shots. We just kept driving and getting to the rim and got buckets and got stops. Really happy for them to see that turn into a victory.”
Junior guard Tramaine Isabell was tremendous in the two wins last week. He poured in a career high 40 against Elon and followed it up with 21 points against Elon, including the game winning free throws.
Senior big man Austin Williams was also key, scoring 21 points, pulling down 19 rebounds and blocking nine shots (six against Northeastern) in the two wins.
“He’s one of the best shot blockers in the nation,” Spiker says. “The best shot blocker, percentage wise, in our league [66 blocks, averaging 2.9 a game]. And those are just the ones where he touches the ball. You know he’s going to get a bunch more where he just affects the shooter. He does that [and] it gives our guards confidence to pressure because you know you’ve got someone up there to protect the rim behind you. I think our defense has gotten better when we’re all playing connected and engaged and I think we’ve done that certainly the last couple of games.”
James Madison is 6-17 on the season heading into Thursday night (2-8 CAA), but one of their wins came against Drexel back on January 20th in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In fact, JMU has won nine in a row against the Dragons. Spiker talks about what the Dragons need to do to reverse that trend.
“We’ve got to rebound it and we’ve got to take care of the basketball,” he says. “And we’ve got to be consistent defensively.”
Thursday night’s game will start at 7:00pm.