Double-doubles by James Butler and Camren Wynter helped Drexel fend off Loyola (Md). in a 95-86 win Wednesday night at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Butler had his in points (12) and rebounds (10); Wynter, continuing to impress as a freshman, had his in points (11) and assists (10).
“Cam is a pass-first point guard: If guys are open, he’s going to find them, and he does a good job looking for guys,” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said. “He can score, and he certainly has shown that ability, but he wakes up figuring out a way to make his teammates better and give them the basketball.”
The first half was mostly close, save for a three-minute stretch starting with 8 1/2 minutes to go when Drexel didn’t hit a field goal. Loyola kept hitting, and gradually turned what had been a five-point deficit into a 39-30 lead. At halftime, the Greyhounds were up 48-43, having shot 18-for-27 from the field -- including 6-for-11 from three-point range.
Drexel (5-4) had no such problems early in the second half, out-scoring Loyola by 17-5 in the first five minutes. Midway through the half, the Dragons' lead was up to 74-61, with a pair of threes by Trevor John punctuating the run.
“We thought we played beneath our capabilities in the first half defensively," Butler said. "We made a concerted focus to really up the intensity defensively, and I think that translated to our offense.”
The Greyhounds (3-6) got to within 86-82 with a minute and a half to go, but a strong layup by Alihan Demir helped to end the threat. Loyola missed at the other end, and a fortunate foul enabled James Butler to put the game away at the free-throw line.
All five Drexel starters hit double figures in scoring. Troy Harper had 19 points, Trevor John had 21 and Demir had a career-high 24.
Loyola’s Andrew Kostecka led all scorers with 31 points on 12-for-17 shooting.
Drexel next faces UMBC on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the DAC. Three of the five starters in the Retrievers' famous win over Virginia this past March, the first 16-over-1-seed upset in NCAA Tournament history, are back this season.