Philadelphia - Chris Fouch scored a season-high 23 points and Drexel made all 10 of its free throws in the final 33 seconds as Drexel defeated Princeton, 64-60, in the home opener for the Dragons.
The Dragons (3-4) led for the majority of the game, but the Tigers (4-6) kept it close. It appeared that Drexel finally pulled ahead for good when Fouch drained a three-pointer with 4:45 to play to put the Dragons ahead, 54-47. However, that turned out to be the Dragons' last field goal of the game. Princeton's defense toughened and the Tigers eventually went ahead by a point at 55-54 when T.J. Bray sank a pair of free throws with 1:45 remaining. Fouch tried to answer, but missed giving Princeton possession with just over a minute to play. The Tigers could not capitalize as Drexel's Kazembe Abif took a charge with 1:01 to play in what Coach Bruiser Flint called the biggest play of the game.
The Dragons' Frantz Massenat drew a foul on Drexel's possession and made a pair of free throws, getting the team the lead back for good with 33 ticks remaining on the clock. Massenat was 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute, while rookie Damion Lee was 4-for-4. Douglas Davis trimmed the lead to two points with a three-pointer with two seconds left but Massenat got fouled and iced the game with a pair from the line.
Fouch, in only his third game back from injury, was 7-for-15 from the floor and made all seven of his free throw attempts. As a team, the Dragons were 20-for-24 from the stripe and a perfect 12-for-12 in the second half. Lee added 13 points and tied for the team lead with eight rebounds. Massenat had 12 points and Samme Givens chipped in with 10 points as the Dragons won their eighth straight home opener at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Ian Hummer led Princeton with 18 points. Davis finished with 15 points and made three three-pointers. Princeton outshot Drexel, 47 percent to 39 percent, but the Dragons won the battle of the boards and allowed the Tigers only three second chances off misses.
Drexel is back on the road this week, playing at Niagara University on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.