Drexel’s second game in two days against Quinnipiac had a bigger impact than just the scoreboard. The Dragons will play nine more back-to-back games against one opponent, so this was the first example of how it might look.
The Dragons had little trouble in their first matchup against the Bobcats on Wednesday, and they were in control for most of Thursday’s game, too. Another strong defensive performance highlighted the Dragons’ 70-58 win at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“I wanted to see how mature our focus would be,” coach Zach Spiker said. “I thought it was really good.”
After allowing Pittsburgh to shoot 62% in the season opener, Drexel’s defense held Quinnipiac (1-2) under 40% shooting in both games. Things aren’t perfect defensively, but Drexel (2-1) needed encouraging performances, and it got them.
“I think we made progress,” Spiker said. “We needed to turn it up a notch in the second half. I thought we did that, so I was proud of them.”
Camren Wynter led Drexel in scoring for the third straight game. He had 23 points and seven assists. James Butler added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Drexel had one new addition to its starting lineup, and he is playing like one of the veterans. Sophomore T.J. Bickerstaff had 10 points and seven rebounds. He’s the only other Dragon other than Wynter to reach double figures in the first three games.
“T.J. plays with a motor,” Spiker said. “He has a chance to make those plays. He did a nice job”
Freshman Lamar Oden Jr. had maybe his best performance of the season. He knocked down a clutch long two, drew a foul, and made his free throws down the stretch. Mate Okros is off to a slow start offensively on the stat sheet, but he’s making his presence felt. Teams still respect his three-point shooting from last season, and that opens the floor for his teammates.
Okros had two points on 1-for-6 shooting, but he also was a team-high plus-20.
“He’s a good team player,” Spiker said. “He’s unselfish in everything he does. He sacrificed his body today blowing up dribble handoffs and screens.”
Drexel is hosting Coppin State on Sunday in its home opener at 2 p.m. The Eagles gave Duke a second-half scare in a 81-71 loss last Saturday.