Thanks to a second-half scoring surge, and a big game all around from Alihan Demir, Drexel snapped a two-game losing streak with an 82-69 win over Robert Morris at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Early on, it didn’t look like the win would come so easily.
Robert Morris jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes, and held Drexel without a made field goal until three minutes, 41 seconds into the game.
The Dragons tied the score at 19-19 midway through the first half, then took their first lead at 29-27 with just over six and a half minutes on the clock. They headed to the locker room up 42-34.
Drexel started the second half even better, extending its lead to 63-47 in the first seven minutes of action. The lead stayed in double digits for the rest of the game, and a crowd of 1,481 that included Ben Simmons and Kendall Jenner went home happy.
(Simmons and Jenner were there with T.J. McConnell, whose brother Matty plays for Robert Morris.)
“We knew they couldn’t knock us out on the first punch, at the first media [timeout],” Dragons guard Troy Harper said. “We’ve been in a game where we were down 34. ... We know we can fight up from behind.”
Demir led all scorers with 17 points, and also had seven rebounds, three blocks, three assists and one steal.
In a program that has been guard-oriented for many years, his ability to control a game from inside has let coach Zach Spiker diversify the playbook.
“He’s just a big guard,” Spiker said of the 6-foot-9 Turkey native. “We’re a little bit unique right now with our personnel, that we can adjust... Let’s just play [and] win basketball games."
Harper added 14 points, and Trevor John had 13. Freshman guard Camren Wynter hit double figures in scoring for the fifth straight game with 11 points.
Kurk Lee missed his fourth straight game after re-aggravating a shoulder injury, and Zach Walton didn’t dress due to a wrist injury suffered in the Dragons' loss to NJIT last Wednesday. A spokesman said Walton is likely out for a while.