Drexel basketball

Drexel's season comes to a screeching halt

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Drexel's season comes to a screeching halt


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Joe Chealey scored 22 points and top-seeded Charleston defeated No. 8 seed Drexel 66-59 on Sunday to advance to the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament semifinals.

Charleston (24-7) will play the winner of Sunday's Towson-William & Mary game on Monday.

Grant Riller added 17 points in surpassing 1,000 in his career and Jarrell Brantley had 12 points and 11 rebounds, his 21st career double-double, for the Cougars, who shared the regular-season title with Northeastern but got the No. 1 seed by virtue of a season sweep of the Huskies.

Trailing by nine, Chealey hit a pair of 3-pointers to start a 20-5 run to take a 59-53 lead with 2:38 remaining. The Dragons (13-20) were within four with a minute to go but Riller hit a 3-pointer and Chealey two free throws to go up nine.

Kurk Lee scored 15 points, Tramaine Isabell had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Austin Williams 12 points for Drexel.

Drexel keeps season alive with late run

USA Today Images

Drexel keeps season alive with late run


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Tramaine Isabell scored 12 of his 24 points in the last four minutes to help No. 8 seed Drexel beat ninth-seeded James Madison 70-62 in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament on Saturday.

Drexel (13-19), which had lost six of their last seven conference tournament games before beating the Dukes, will move on to face top-seeded Charleston (23-7) in a Sunday quarterfinal.

James Madison had a 55-54 lead with 4:20 to play. The Dragons closed on a 16-7 run, including an 8-0 stretch from Isabell. Ramone Snowden's 3-pointer pulled the Dukes to 64-60 before Isabell hit four straight free throws to make it 68-60 with 31 seconds left.

Sammy Mojica added 11 points and Austin Williams had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Drexel.

Matt Lewis made three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points on 3-of-15 shooting for James Madison (10-22).

Penn aims to end 11-year drought this weekend

USA Today Images

Penn aims to end 11-year drought this weekend

NBC Sports Philadelphia anchor/reporter Amy Fadool and senior producer Sean Kane get you set for all the weekend's local college basketball games with Fastbreak Friday. With the regular season ending this weekend, this will be the final Fastbreak Friday column of the season.

Temple (16-13, 8-9 AAC) at Tulsa (18-11, 11-6 AAC), Sunday at 3 p.m.
 It’s been a rough season for the Temple Owls. Yes, there was that win over ranked Wichita State in the middle of a 5-game win streak. But after the stumbles down the stretch, that seems like a distant memory. 

Of course, the bad can be washed away with an AAC tournament run, but first, the Owls need to close out on the road against Tulsa. 

Given their track record on the road, things don’t line up well for Fran Dunphy’s crew. Plus, it’s dollar dog, dollar soda and dollar popcorn night at Tulsa. That’s a delicious trifecta. 

But there is still some fight in this team. Quintin Rose and Shizz Alston have been everything the Owls have needed, and throw in Nate Pierre-Louis and you have a nice core back for next season.

Temple 71,  Tulsa 70

Pennsylvania (21-7, 11-1 Ivy) at Yale (14-14, 7-5 Ivy), Friday at 7 p.m.
Pennsylvania (21-7, 11-1 Ivy) at Brown (11-14, 4-8 Ivy), Saturday at 6 p.m.
Penn enters the final weekend of the regular season in control of its own destiny. If the Quakers beat Yale and Brown on the road they'll win their first Ivy League championship since 2007 and earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which will be played at the Palestra next weekend. It all adds up to Penn having the inside track to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years.

This seems like an appropriate time to salute the job done by head coach Steve Donahue. In just his third season at Penn, he has the Quakers poised to reclaim top billing in the Ivy League. He inherited a team that finished 9-19 in the 2014-2015 season and promptly began a swift rebuilding project. Penn went 11-17 in Donahue's first season, 13-14 in his second year, and now stand at 21-7 overall and 11-1 in conference play. Look for those winning ways to continue this weekend and for Donahue and company to do some celebrating.

Penn 73, Yale 66
Penn 69, Brown 60

La Salle (13-17, 7-10 A-10) at St. Joseph's (14-15, 9-8 A-10), Saturday at 2 p.m.
La Salle and St. Joe's will each try to keep the good times rolling heading into next week's A-10 Tournament. La Salle has won three of its last four games, including a convincing 18-point win over Dayton earlier this week. St. Joseph's meanwhile has a 5-1 record in its last six games and just recorded arguably one of the most stunning victories of this college basketball season.

The Hawks went on the road and beat No. 18 Rhode Island, 78-48, on Tuesday, spoiling the Rams' senior night in the process. It was the first road win over a ranked team for St. Joseph's since 1979 and it came in shockingly easy fashion. I expect the Hawks to build on that momentum this weekend and avenge a three-point loss to La Salle earlier this season.

St. Joseph's 74, La Salle 68 

Drexel (12-19, 6-12 CAA) at James Madison (10-21, 6-12 CAA), Saturday at 4 p.m. in first round of CAA Tournament
The Dragons' season has been marked with highs and lows. While it may seem like a marginal improvement — with 12 wins to their credit compared to nine last season — they did double their conference win total. 

Also, Drexel beat the top two teams in the CAA this season as well as set an NCAA Division-I record for the largest comeback ever when they erased a 34-point deficit against Delaware. 

But the Dragons did have two separate losing streaks that would cause any coach to lose sleep, one of five straight and the other of four straight losses. 

Drexel begins the quest for its first-ever CAA tournament title against JMU, then Charleston awaits on basically home turf. Go ahead and make it a baker’s dozen, Dragons. 

Drexel 76, JMU 74

Prediction Records
Sean Kane: 30-11
Amy Fadool: 22-21