Chris Fouch is starting to resemble the player who led the Dragons in scoring last year.
And, not coincidentally, Drexel is beginning to look more like the team everyone expected at the beginning of the season.
Fouch scored 14 points, including a key layup with 1 minute, 54 seconds remaining, to lead Drexel to its third straight win, 73-68 over Bradley on Saturday at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
It was closer than it should have been, as the Dragons coughed up a 17-point advantage with nine minutes left that created some tense moments and left coach Bruiser Flint fuming.
"The game shouldn't have been that close," Flint said.
But the Dragons built their lead in large part because Fouch, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, is nearing full health. He missed the first four games because of offseason surgery on his left knee, and he scored eight points combined in his first two games back, a pair of losses that dropped Drexel to 2-4.
But he has averaged 20.3 points in the Dragons' last three wins, helping Drexel look more like the team that was picked to finish first in a difficult Colonial Athletic Association that sent Virginia Commonwealth to the Final Four last season.
"Yeah, definitely, that's all we talked about was getting back into Drexel form, making stops, and executing on offense," Fouch said. "We've been doing a good job the last few games."
Samme Givens led the Dragons (5-4) with 17 points, all of which came after halftime, to go with 10 rebounds. Givens has noticed more space on the interior with the return of Fouch.
"Chris plays an integral part of our offense," Givens said. "Definitely since he came back our offense is a little better. Defenses can't crowd the middle. And now we're making shots. We're playing our game."
Flint was steamed that Drexel let Bradley (5-5) climb out of a 58-41 hole with 9:15 left to tie it at 65 with 2:31 remaining.
Flint said the Dragons need to learn how to put games away.
"[They] got to get a little killer in them," he said of his team. "I don't know if we always have that all the time. We'll learn from it."
Fouch admitted that the Dragons took their foot off the pedal.
"That's one of our biggest problems," he said. "When we get a team down by a certain amount of points, we let up."