In senior forward Leon Spencer’s first game on the court since breaking his wrist against Rutgers in November, the Drexel Dragons (10-10, 5-3 in the CAA) defeated the James Madison Dukes, 78-57, on Wednesday night. Point guard Jamie Harris led the way for Drexel scoring 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and redshirt-freshman guard Chris Fouch scored 13 points off the bench.
In the opening minutes of the game, Drexel started of well, leading 11-4 and things were looking up for the Dragons offense. But after an 8-0 run by the Dukes giving them a 12-11 lead, the Dragons would not lead for the remainder of the half. Heading into the intermission, Drexel was down 29-27 and the fans were left wondering if this would lead to another disappointing loss.
But much to the delight of the Drexel faithful, the Dragons came out breathing fire in the second half. As a team, Drexel shot 61% from the field and scored 51 points in the second half primarily led by Harris, Fouch and Spencer. Harris decided to take the game over and began creating his own shot and creating space on the perimeter for a few open three-point shots. Fouch also got hot from three-point land and made three of his four attempts, where his only miss rimmed in and out and nearly went in.
Spencer, who was a starter for the first three games of the year before his injury, came off the bench in this game and finished with nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Leon had one of the more exciting plays in the game as he had a thunderous dunk sparking a roar from the crowd at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. Even though Spencer was called for a technical foul for hanging on the room, the “DAC Pack,” the name for the rowdy Drexel student section, started a “LEON SPENCER” chant. That certainly felt good to hear, both for Spencer and for the Dragons fans.
Perhaps the spark of Spencer is exactly what the Dragons need to be successful down the stretch as they finish out their conference schedule over this next month and a half. As soon as Spencer started making some plays, there were more opportunities for players like Harris and Fouch to get open looks. His presence alone not only creates problems for opposing defenses, but it also creates confidence for other Dragon players.
Drexel will look to winback-to-back conferences games on Saturday afternoon as they host the Hofstra Pride at the DAC.