Princeton was up by as many as 13 points late in the first half, but Drexel outscored the Tigers by 14 after the break to gain a come-from-behind win, 64-57 Saturday afternoon at Jadwin Gym.
The loss drops Princeton to 3-5 one week after a promising performance at Kent State, while the Dragons improve to 3-6.
Ian Hummer finished with 19 points as one of three Tigers in double figures, with Clay Wilson joining him with 12 points as well as Will Barrett with 10. Damion Lee had a game-high 21 for Drexel with Dartaye Ruffin adding 12 points.
Princeton's largest lead came at 30-17 with less than five minutes to go in the first half, but Drexel began to chip away there and get the deficit down to seven by halftime. The Dragons kept right on going after the break, and Princeton never led by more than seven in the second half.
The Tigers, who shot 57.7 percent in the first half, picked a tough time to go cold from the field. A 17-5 run saw Drexel turn a 45-38 deficit with 14 minutes to go into a 55-50 lead with five minutes left, a span that saw Princeton go 2 for 8 from the field.
Princeton managed to pull back to a tie at 57-57 with more than two minuted left in the game, but those game-tying points came on a pair of clutch Will Barrett free throws. Princeton's last field goal came with 4:45 to play on a Hummer bucket, ending that 17-5 Drexel run, but after that the Tigers missed their last five field goal tries.
The team seemed to trade their fortunes from the field at halftime. Princeton outshot Drexel 57.7 percent to 40 percent in the first half, while the Dragons turned that around to lead Princeton 63.2 percent to 35 percent in the second half. That included the Tigers going 3 of 13 from long distance.
The second-half rebounding totals were also strongly in Drexel's favor, with Princeton taking a 16-13 edge on the glass into the break before the Dragons won that stat 19-4 in the second half for an overall 32-20 rebounding edge.
Princeton will take the court next Saturday at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn against Fordham as the first game in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival tripleheader.
• After Princeton won the first eight in the series with Drexel from 1901-1997, Drexel has won the last three, in 2005 at Jadwin Gym, in 2011 in Philadelphia and now in 2012 in Jadwin Gym.
• Ian Hummer's 19 points gave him 1,290 for his career, good for 10th place on Princeton's all-time career scoring list. He is just two behind Bud Haabestad '55 for ninth place.
• Hummer's nine field goals moved him closer to Brian Taylor '84 (507), still in eighth place on the school's career field goals list with 504.
• Hummer moved closer to the 600-rebound mark, achieved by only six Tigers since the stat began being kept in 1954-55. He now has 596 boards, in seventh place behind Andy Rimol '74 (617).
• Drexel's .500 field goal percentage for the game was the best for a Princeton opponent since the second game of the season when Northeastern shot .575 on Nov. 13 in Jadwin Gym.
• Drexel's 12-rebound advantage was the second-highest total for a Princeton opponent this season after Rutgers outboarded the Tigers by 18.
• Clay Wilson, who had five points in limited action all last season as a freshman, had his fourth double-digit scoring game of the season with 12 points. That was his highest total since a career-high 15 at Syracuse on Nov. 21.
• Mack Darrow, who has played in all eight games this season, has scored 21 of his 23 points this season over the last three games. He had six against Drexel.
• Will Barrett had his fifth double-digit scoring game in eight contests this season with 10 points against the Dragons.
• Hans Brase, who made his only field goal try against Drexel, had his first bucket since goting 2 for 3 from the field against Northeastern on Nov. 13.
• Hummer's 19 points were his third-highest total of the season after scoring 25 against Northeastern and 28 at Lafayette.
• Brendan Connolly went 3 for 3 from the field and has increased his scoring average on the season in each of the last three games, now with 6.9 points per game.