Drexel’s men’s and women’s basketball teams took the court last Friday to open the 2012-13 season. Both squads reached the Colonial Athletic Association Championship last year and return with equally high aspirations for this season.
The men’s team, who were picked to win the league in the preseason conference coaches/media poll, played at Kent State at 7 p.m. Chris Fouch scored 24 points and drained six three pointers, but it wasn't enough as Drexel lost its season-opener in overtime at Kent State, 66-62.
The women’s team, which is once again projected for a top-four finish in the conference, opened the season with a 60-50 victory over Providence on Friday night. Senior Hollie Mershon led the Dragons with 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Nicki Jones tallied 10 points, which was a career-high for her time at Drexel.
After a record-breaking season that saw the team amass 29 wins and advance to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament, Bruiser Flint’s squad returns all but one starter this season. Led by CAA Preseason Player of the Year Frantz Massenat, the Dragons have been touted by national basketball publications as one of the top mid-major programs in the country. Drexel went 16-2 in CAA play last season and advanced to the conference championship game and are looking for a repeat performance this year.
Sophomore guard Damion Lee, who was the CAA’s Rookie of the year in 2012, joins Massenat as a Preseason First Team All-CAA selection on a team that is loaded with experience and talent. The team will open its home schedule on November 15 against Illinois State and will also host games against Rider, Davidson and Saint Joseph’s before opening conference play in January.
The women’s basketball team also turned in one of its most successful seasons last year. The Dragons posted 19 victories and played their way into the CAA Championship game for the second time ever before falling to rival Delaware.
Denise Dillon, who became the winningest coach in the program’s history last season, returns a strong core of players this season, including Preseason First Team All-CAA guard Hollie Mershon. Returning seniors Taylor Wootton, Nicki Jones and Renee Johnson-Allen helped anchored the stingiest scoring defense in the team’s history, letting up just 54.3 points per game last season.
The women’s team will play their first home game on November 14 against Saint Joseph’s. Drexel plays just three non-conference home games before opening CAA play on Jan. 6 against Towson.
The men’s basketball team faces Illinois State on November 15 at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. ISU is picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference at 7 p.m.
Tickets for all home games are available at www.drexeltickets.com.