HIGH ON Zach Spiker's to-do list when he took over the Drexel basketball program in late March was to finish filling out the 2016 recruiting class.
Less than 40 days after his hire, Spiker got his first commitment, from Baltimore's Kurk Lee, out of St. Frances Academy.
So it was only fitting that, some 6 1/2 months later, the generously listed 5-10 point guard (who acknowledges being only 5-8) helped Spiker pick up his first career win in his first home game leading the bench at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
And while Spiker won't be quick to anoint Lee the next star at Drexel, Hartford coach John Gallagher didn't hesitate.
"When Madison Bumgarner takes the mound, it's his game and everyone else is playing it," Gallagher said when asked to describe Lee's play on Friday night.
Lee scored 24 points to lead all Dragons in an 87-73 Drexel win.
"He's a confident guy," Spiker said. "I know specific moments and things we've seen throughout the summer, you look around and he makes a move or two, you look at a coach and say, 'If he continues to do that, he can be a good basketball player.' It's his third game."
Drexel used a 24-9 run during the first 10-plus minutes of the second half on the way to taking its largest lead, 57-41, and never led by less than nine the rest of the way.
Lee's three-point play helped get the run started, and he scored in a variety of ways all night, finishing 10-for-16 from the field, while chipping in three assists against four turnovers.
The highlight of the game might have been Lee's deft, lefthanded lob pass in transition that was finished by a Rodney Williams one-handed dunk. The alley-oop put Drexel ahead, 77-66, with 3:10 to go.
Lee then made a layup after a Hawks miss that put the game away for good.
Williams finished with 21 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Kari Jonsson joined Lee and Williams in double figures with 12 points.
Hartford's Jalen Ross led all scorers with 30 points.
The Dragons (1-2) had a chance to distance themselves from Hartford (1-3) midway through the first half. After a questionable charging call eliminated a Hartford score and earned Gallagher a technical foul, Drexel used a 7-0 run to take a 20-8 lead. But the Dragons went cold, missing 12 consecutive shots to let the Hawks back in it.
A corner three from Sammy Mojica stopped the streak of misses and got the Dragons the lead, 27-25, before Lee's buzzer-beating drive gave Drexel a lead, 31-28, at the end of a haphazard first half that featured 17 combined turnovers.
Thanks in large part to Lee, Drexel was the team that found a winning rhythm in the second half.
"It's a great feeling," Lee said. "On to the next one."