WISCONSIN LOST three starters, including a pair of first-round draft choices from the team that played Duke for the national championship in April. Bo Ryan's team had some very uncharacteristic November losses so maybe this was the time for Temple to win at Kohl Center on Saturday.
So much for that thought. The Owls (3-4) trailed for the final 33 minutes and lost decisively, 76-60. The Badgers (6-3) made the most of their 65 possessions, scoring 1.17 points per possession while shooting 45.8 percent and committing just seven turnovers. The remaining two starters, forward Nigel Hayes (18 points, 12 rebounds) and point guard Bronson Koenig (17 points), are quite good and the Owls just could not get enough stops.
The good news for Fran Dunphy's team is that the freshman class looks very solid. Guards Levan Alston and Trey Lowe combined for 21 points in 45 minutes, shooting 6-for-11 overall, 4-for-6 from three and 5-for-6 from the line.
If there was one constant during Drexel's 0-6 start, it was the un-Dragon-like defense. It was back at Gola Arena as they held the Explorers to just 0.78 PPP and won, 66-53.
That defense and a career game from Tavon Allen allowed Drexel to break away from a tie with 14 minutes left and win going away. Allen (25 points) shot 7-for-11 overall, 3-for-3 from the arc and 8-for-8 from the line.
Beyond Allen, the biggest difference was free-throw shooting. Drexel was 21-for-24, La Salle 15-for-27.
The teams combined to miss 62 of 100 shots while committing 32 turnovers. So this was not beautiful, which did not matter to Drexel - the Dragons had lost five times by single digits. Meanwhile, La Salle (4-3) is searching for answers after starting 3-0.
After losing at George Mason, 63-44, Penn (4-4) has not won since giving La Salle its first loss the night before Thanksgiving.