Tonight in the City 6: Villanova, Drexel face reeling teams

Tonight in the City 6: Villanova, Drexel face reeling teams
February 18, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Two City 6 teams are in action tonight, both at home against struggling opponents. Drexel hosts lowly Hofstra, and Villanova battles a reeling Rutgers team.

Rutgers (13-11, 4-9 Big East) at Villanova (16-10, 7-6)
9 p.m., The Pavilion

Previous games
Villanova has been streaky all season long. The Wildcats are 3-1 in their last four games and sit just 2½ games behind Big East-leading Syracuse. On Feb. 16., Villanova defeated Connecticut 70-61 behind a 25-point outburst from Ryan Arcidiacono. The Wildcats were hot from three-point range, shooting 9 for 21 (42.9 percent), and outrebounded the Huskies 40-24 thanks to 16 boards from Mouphtaou Yarou.

Since starting 12-4, Rutgers has gone just 1-7 in its last eight contests. In their last game, the Scarlet Knights handed DePaul just its second conference win. Myles Mack was a one-man show for Rutgers in the 75-69 loss. He had 28 points on 11-for-19 shooting and added four rebounds. Rutgers allowed four different Blue Demons to score in double-figures.

Top players
Mack has played well all season for Rutgers. His 13.2 points per game and 50.2 shooting percentage rank second on the team, and his 91.7 percent from the line and 45.1 percent from beyond the arc lead the Big East. The sophomore guard’s 28-point performance against DePaul was his highest scoring output of the season.

Villanova has been led by a few different players this season, most notably JayVaughn Pinkston. The sophomore forward leads the Wildcats with 12.6 points per game and ranks second on the team with five rebounds per game. Pinkston has scored in double-figures in every game during Villanova’s recent hot streak (3-1).

Keep an eye on ...
Rutgers has not reached the 70-point mark in any of its last six road games, compiling a 1-5 record. Villanova is 7-2 in its past nine home games, allowing 70-plus points just twice (both overtime games).

Recent series
Villanova has defeated Rutgers in five of the last six meetings. Last season, the Wildcats were 2-0 against the Scarlet Knights and knocked them out of the Big East tournament with a 70-49 victory. Yarou recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

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Hofstra (6-20, 3-10 CAA) at Drexel (10-15, 6-7)
7 p.m., Daskalakis Athletic Center

Previous games
Drexel has lost three of its last four games, dropping under .500 in conference play and five games back of CAA-leading Northeastern. The Dragons lost their most recent game, 68-62, to George Mason. Drexel blew an eight-point second-half lead in a game where it shot just 37.5 percent from the floor. Frantz Massenat struggled, scoring just 13 points on 4-for-16 shooting.

Hofstra has not played well since the beginning of the season. After starting 3-2, the Pride have gone just 3-18, mostly because of their inefficient offense. Hofstra ranks 335th of 345 Division-I teams in points per game (58.5) and 337th in field goal percentage (38.3 percent). Last game against Towson, the Pride shot just 20 for 55 (36.4 percent) from the field and 2 for 10 (20 percent) from three. They were outrebounded 38-21 and were defeated 57-50 despite forcing 20 Towson turnovers.

Top players
Damion Lee has led the way for Drexel. The sophomore guard’s 16.9 points per game lead the team and rank fifth in the CAA. Lee also averages 4.6 rebounds and shoots 82.6 percent from the line, good for fourth in the conference. Lee has been struggling as of late, scoring just 32 points in the last four games.

Taran Buie is Hofstra’s top scorer at 12.9 points per game. The sophomore guard also averages 3.3 boards and is looking to bounce back after being held scoreless his last time out.

Keep an eye on ...
This game is almost certain to be one of the lowest scoring games of the season for the Dragons. As mentioned previously, Hofstra averages just 58.5 points, and Drexel averages slightly higher at 62 points. The Dragons have not scored over 66 points in any of their last six games (2-4), and Hofstra has done so just once in its last 10 games (1-9).

Recent series
Drexel is 4-1 in its last five games against Hofstra, including a 55-52 victory on Jan. 23. Massenat had 14 points and a game-winning half-court buzzer-beater for the Dragons. Buie had a season-high 29 points and was Hofstra’s only player in double-figures.

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