Tramaine Isabell enjoyed a career-best performance on Thursday night, and Drexel needed every bit of his offensive dominance to end a five-game losing streak.
A 6-foot-1 junior transfer from Missouri, Isabell scored 40 points as Drexel defeated Elon, 83-79, at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Drexel improved to 8-14 and 2-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association, while Elon fell to 12-10, 4-5.
Isabell’s previous career high was 35 points in an 89-77 win over Rider on Dec. 2.
He became Drexel’s first 40-point scorer since Michael Anderson scored 42 points on Feb. 27, 1988 against Rider. The school’s record is 44 points by John Rankin, also against Rider, on Jan. 6, 1988.
“My guys were finding me, and there were certain times I would break them [defenders] off, but a lot of times guys were just making the extra pass because Elon … clog[s] the middle, and you make that extra pass, and you have an easy shot and take advantage of it.”
The shots weren’t that easy, especially from deep. Isabell made 14 of 23 shots, including 7 of 11 from three-point range and 5 of 7 from the foul line.
This was a college career high, but not a personal best for Isabell, who said he scored 56 points as a seventh-grader playing for the Seattle Rotary League
“I think I took every shot,” Isabell recalled, laughing. “It was a fun game, and I like to joke about it to the director, because that is the Seattle Rotary record, and we had a lot of pros, and that is one thing I had my niche … .”
He has also found his niche in his first season at Drexel, averaging 19.7 points and 7.6 rebounds. He did miss five games, including a 90-75 loss at Elon, because of a shoulder injury.
The Dragons also got a big game off the bench from junior guard Troy Harper, who had 14 points. But this was Isabell’s evening.
Drexel, which trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, took the lead for good, 74-72 on Isabell’s
— Marc Narducci (@sjnard) January 26, 2018
three-pointer from the top of the key with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left.
The game went down to the wire before Drexel’s Sammy Mojica iced the win by hitting both ends of a 1-and-1 with 3.6 second left, making it 83-79.
When Isabell kept draining jumpers, it changed Drexel’s offensive game plan.
“We wanted to create for him,” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said.
And Isabell rewarded that confidence with a career night — excluding any Rotary League action.