Drexel’s defense was nonexistent in its first game of the season. The Dragons didn’t want to make that a trend on Wednesday.
Pittsburgh shot 62% against Drexel, but the same couldn’t be said for Quinnipiac. The Dragons set the tone early defensively by holding Quinnipiac to 21% shooting in the first half.
The strong defensive effort led to a 66-48 win in “Bubbleville” at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“We showed some good stretches of defense,” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said. “We were much more cleaner and had a much better presence in this game.”
Both teams struggled early. Drexel started 4-for-12 shooting before making eight of its last 10. The lead reached double digits after a 25-9 Drexel run.
Zach Walton paced Drexel in the first half with 13 points. Camren Wynter led the Dragons with 17 points and five assists.
Through two games, Drexel has shown promising signs on both ends. The offense hung around with an ACC foe, and the defense shut down Quinnipiac, which won its first game by 18 points against Fairleigh Dickinson.
Turnovers were one of Drexel’s biggest issues last season. Early in the first half, the Dragons turned it over 10 times but trimmed it to four in the second half.
“A lot of those [turnovers] are charges or poor decisions on offense,” Spiker said. “We need to play a lot better and smarter.”
After the bench combined for just three points against Pittsburgh, five nonstarters scored on Wednesday night. Freshman Lamar Oden Jr. led the second unit with six points and Xavier Bell added five points.
The same two teams face each other again Thursday at 2 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena.
It’s an opportunity for Drexel to get a jump on what its conference play will look like. Sixteen of the Dragons’ 18 conference games will be back to back against the same opponents.
“It’ll be a whole different game,” Spiker said. “This opportunity presented itself and we jumped at it.”