On Monday, the Drexel men's basketball team was stung by the news that star guard Damion Lee would miss the rest of the season with a torn knee ligament.
With Cleveland State coming to the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Wednesday night, it was gut-check time for Bruiser Flint's squad.
The game stretched into triple overtime, but Lee's replacement, sophomore guard Tavon Allen, answered the call. Allen led Drexel (5-2) with 23 points to help the Dragons outlast the Vikings for a 85-82 win, their second straight in triple OT.
Forward Jon Harris led Cleveland State (4-4) with 27 points.
"They're no slacking team," Drexel guard Frantz Massenat said. "So to be able to come in here and grind them out to the very end, it was big for us and our team."
With the score tied at 57 and less than a minute remaining in regulation, Allen forced a turnover and was fouled on his way to the basket. He sank one of two from the line to give the Dragons a one-point lead.
Allen returned the favor on the Vikings' next possession, fouling Cleveland State guard Trey Lewis. Lewis hit one free throw to force overtime.
A free throw by freshman forward Rodney Williams gave Drexel a 66-63 lead with less than a minute to play in the extra period, but a three-pointer from Vikings guard Bryn Forbes sent the game to a second OT.
The Dragons, down by 72-71, forced a turnover to get the ball back with 15 seconds to play. Massenat (21 points) drove the lane and was fouled on his way up to the basket but hit just one free throw, which sent the game into triple overtime.
The Dragons were up by one with the clock nearing zero, and Allen scored four points in the final minute to seal the win for Drexel.
"Damion's not coming back, so you've got to stop asking me questions about him," Flint said. "If we don't come with that kind of resolve, we're not going to be able to win. We won two games without him. Hopefully, we can win a lot of games without him."