Drexel’s Jarvis Doles was dunking, shooting, and providing plenty of energy while enjoying a career-best performance off the bench, The Dragons needed everything Doles gave them Thursday night to hold off Towson, 72-66, at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
A 6-foot-9 sophomore from Baltimore, Doles scored a career-high 16 points in a season-high 20 minutes and 2 seconds, hitting 6 of 10 from the field and 4 of 7 from three-point range. His previous career high was 15 points in a win over Division III Bryn Athyn in November.
“We practice those shots every day, and my guys had confidence in me and got me the ball when I was open," Doles said, “and I appreciate them for it, and I just did what I know how to do.”
Doles entered the game averaging 7.5 minutes.
"Jarvis was as locked in defensively, as he has been for the minutes he’s played,” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said. “He hasn’t had a ton of minutes. Tonight, he had a larger sample size and showed what he is capable of doing.”
Doles had plenty of help, especially from 6-9 junior Alihan Demir, who scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, dominating from inside and outside.
The win improved Drexel to 9-11 and 3-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association, while Towson fell to 5-14, 1-5.
Drexel had to show some fight, as the Dragons trailed by as many as 11 points with less than 13 minutes remaining. They outrebounded Towson, 47-44, even though the Tigers entered the game leading the CAA in rebounding margin (+6.8), while Drexel was at -1.5.
The one negative about Doles' performance was the technical foul he drew for taunting after he cut Towson’s lead to 57-55 on a follow-up dunk with 7:55 left. Towson made the two technical foul shots, but Drexel went on a 10-0 run to take a 65-59 lead. Demir scored 5 points during the run.
The game remained close, and with 59.4 seconds left, Towson’s Nakye Sanders hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to 67-65.
Demir then made both ends of a 1-and-1, and after Towson missed two three-point shots on the next possession, Drexel’s Troy Harper made it 71-65 on two free throws with 26.4 seconds. Finally, the Dragons had some breathing room.
Towson’s Allen Betrand, a 6-4 freshman from Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic, scored a career high 11 points, while 6-4 junior Brian Fobbs led the Tigers with 21 points.
It was the third game back for Drexel junior guard Kurk Lee since missing 13 games with an upper-body injury. With 6:02 left in the second half, Lee left the game in noticeable pain, holding his right shoulder. He did not return.