Austin Williams watched as James Madison’s Stuckey Mosley brought the ball across halfcourt, streaking towards the rim as the final seconds counted off the clock.
The Drexel senior feigned stepping up to stop Mosley on his way to the hoop then paused, turned and raced toward the baseline. As the Dukes’ junior wing rose up, there was Williams, meeting the ball at its apex and swatting it out of bounds as the buzzer sounded at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
He’d seen it coming the entire way.
“During the timeout [with seven seconds left], I told my guys ‘I’m going to block this,’ ” Williams said. “It’s something I strive for.”
Williams’ block sealed a 76-74 win on Thursday, the third in a row for Drexel (10-14, 4-7), which is slowly starting to creep its way up the Colonial Athletic Association standings.
Williams finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks, playing 33 minutes. It’s the third game in a row and 12th game of the season in which Williams has played 30-plus minutes, an important figure for the Dragons’ most dominant post player who has struggled with foul difficulties in his career.
That he only had one foul was a big reason the 6-foot-9 center was able to make his game-saving block at the end.
“One of my keys is to always stay out of foul trouble. I’ve got a history of that, so I think I did pretty good today,” Williams said. “Later in the game I can play.”
Williams was one of four Drexel players in double figures; Troy Harper had 17 points to lead the way, going 10 of 12 from the foul stripe. Sammy Mojica had 16 points, including four three-pointers, and Kurk Lee Jr. added all 14 of his points in the second half.
Most importantly for Drexel, the Dragons were able to win without a monster night from junior guard Tramaine Isabell, who scored just eight points on nine shots. The Mizzou transfer had gone off for 40 in a win over Elon and then 21 against Northeastern. He had scored in double figures in all but one Drexel win so far. He missed the La Salle game with an injury.
“I think our slogan can be and is in the locker room, ‘Sometimes you. Sometimes me. Always us,’ ” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said. “Different guys stepped up in different ways tonight.”
James Madison (6-18, 2-9) got 26 points from freshman Matt Lewis and 22 from Mosley, who combined for 38 of their 48 points in the second half.
Drexel will try to extend its winning streak to four games on Saturday with a road game at William and Mary, which entered Thursday night tied for first place in the CAA. The Tribe took an earlier meeting between the teams, 85-63, in Philadelphia on Jan. 7.