A 21-year-old Drexel University student told police a stranger broke into her West Philadelphia apartment yesterday morning and sexually assaulted her while threatening her with a meat cleaver he stole from her kitchen.

The woman reported that she heard a noise at 4:15 a.m. and got up to investigate, police said. She encountered the man in her living room in her home on Spring Garden Street near 34th, police said. The man sexually assaulted her and then fled. Because the apartment was dark, she couldn't describe her attacker. Police have no suspects.

Drexel spokeswoman Niki Gianakaris directed questions to the Police Department's special victims unit, saying: "The University is fully cooperating with the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit in the ongoing investigation."

Special-victims investigators had no further details. Tipsters, call (215) 685-3251.