Drexel's Chris Fouch scored 31 points Saturday on 6-of-8 shooting from three. (USA Today Images)
Drexel’s sixth-year guard Chris Fouch is known for a few things. He has faced a pair of season-ending injuries during his collegiate career. He’s still playing for Drexel despite having graduated this past summer.
And he’s known to be one of the most deadly three-point shooters in Philadelphia.
At least, that was his reputation entering the 2013-14 season. Fouch’s productivity from long range hasn’t been up to par with his previous years. Entering Saturday’s contest vs. Northeastern, Fouch was shooting a career-low 28.8 percent from behind the arc. He made just 30 of his 104 attempts.
In Saturday’s 93-88 double overtime win, though, he once again looked familiar to the Drexel crowd. Fouch scored a career-high 31 points on just 15 field goal attempts, knocking down 6 of 8 three-point attempts (see Instant Replay).
He looked familiar to his coach, too.
“I talked to [Fouch] today,” Bruiser Flint said after the game. “I told him he wasn’t coming down on his shot like he was supposed to. His follow-through was crooked. He missed every shot in the shootaround this morning."
The fourth-best three-point shooter in Drexel history missed every three-pointer in the morning shootaround?
“But then he was back to being himself," Flint continued. "And that shows you what kind of kid he is. He got 30 points on 15 shots, and the way he was shooting them, he shot them like ‘OK, look, these are going in.’”
All of that confidence was epitomized in one singular, bizarre play in the second overtime period.
With just over a minute remaining in the second overtime, Drexel held an 87-85 lead. After corralling an early offensive rebound, Frantz Massenat had possession late in the shot clock. As he dribbled across the top of the key, the ball ricocheted off his foot and toward the sideline. It looked as if Northeastern would have a chance to tie the game for the third straight period.
But as the ball sailed toward the Drexel bench it clipped one of the referees in the knee. The ball bounced backwards, essentially retracing its steps, until it found Fouch’s grasp.
He stood 27 feet from the hoop, far enough away to count for three points in the NBA. The shot clock read three seconds.
Fouch fired from extreme distance and, with 36 seconds to play, he buried it, along with the Huskies.
After the game, Fouch and Massenat shared a laugh about that particular play.
“The refs saved us,” joked an amazed Fouch.
Behind him the always-dour Flint muttered, “It’s about time.”
It was about time for something to happen, Fouch said, but it didn’t have to do with the referees. It was about time he rediscovered his shot.
“It was all about getting back to the basics,” Fouch said.
After scoring 15 points in regulation, Fouch more than doubled his output in the two overtime periods, pouring in 16 points in just 10 minutes. He was clutch in the absence of sophomore guard Tavon Allen, who went down with a sprained ankle at the end of regulation, which left Northeastern's wide open Demetrius Pollard for a game-tying, buzzer-beating three.
Flint’s senior guards have had a knack for stepping up in dire situations all season.
“Honestly, I think that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Flint said. “We’re getting shots. We just have to make them.”
They made them Saturday. The question, after helping Fouch rekindle his stroke, is whether Flint has a fix for all of his team’s problems.
Drexel plays again Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. when the Towson Tigers (9-6) visit the DAC.