The Drexel Dragons have waited a long time to feel the thrill of victory in a regular-season college basketball game. To be exact, it had been 281 days since Bruiser Flint's squad prevailed at William and Mary in late February to halt a four-game losing streak at the end of their tumultuous, injury-ridden 2014-15 campaign.
Roughly three-quarters of a year later, the Dragons got back in the victory column with a 66-53 win over City Six rival La Salle on Saturday at Tom Gola Arena, ending their six-game losing streak to start the season.
Senior guard Tavon Allen paced the visiting Dragons (1-6) with a season-high 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and a perfect 3 of 3 mark from deep. It was a rebound performance for Drexel's leading scorer, who shot a woeful 3 of 15 from the field in a 62-59 loss to San Diego Nov. 28 in the Great Alaska Shootout.
"I thought Tavon had probably the best game he's ever had as a Drexel player," Flint said. "[Jordan] Price is probably as good of an offensive player as we're going to play this year, and I thought [Allen] did a good job on him."
Price, La Salle's do-it-all guard, couldn't manage to continue his rhythm from a 37-point performance against Hofstra on Wednesday, scoring 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting as the Explorers (4-3) took their second straight loss.
Despite the close proximity of the schools, Saturday's game marked the first time since 2000 that Drexel played a game at Tom Gola Arena. Last season, La Salle - which leads the all-time series, 21-5 - defeated Drexel at the Daskalakis Athletic Center in the teams' first matchup in nine years.
Price, who went in ranked No. 2 in the nation in points per game (27) and three-pointers per game (4.33), scored the first bucket on a three-pointer but struggled for most of the first half, shooting 2 of 8 from the field and contributing to three of his team's 10 turnovers at the break.
"I think we were way too predictable in that way," La Salle coach John Giannini said of Price's usage on offense. "He wants to win so bad, and I think when you're in that situation you can try to do too much."
Price's unusual ineffectiveness gave the Dragons life as they mustered a 10-0 run keyed by back-to-back triples from Allen en route to a 37-31 halftime lead.
Drexel lost the lead with 14 minutes to play when a Price layup tied the game at 43, but poor efficiency from the free-throw line (15 of 27) and from beyond the arc (4 of 16) ultimately doomed the Explorers.
Drexel junior forward Rodney Williams had a double-double, with 14 points and 13 rebounds.