Drake tops Wichita State for first NCAA win in 50 years

auburnpub March 18, 2021 Drake 30
Drake tops Wichita State for first NCAA win in 50 years

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Joseph Yesufu scored 21 points and Drake beat Wichita State 53-52 on Thursday night in the First Four, the Bulldogs' first NCAA Tournament win in a

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Joseph Yesufu scored 21 points and Drake beat Wichita State 53-52 on Thursday night in the First Four, the Bulldogs' first NCAA Tournament win in a half-century. Drake's previous tournament victory was 50 years ago to the day - March 18, 1971, against Notre Dame. The Bulldogs were hardly overmatched in this year's tournament field, however they came in with 25 wins, second most of the 68 teams behind top overall seed Gonzaga, and their tense matchup with a longtime Missouri Valley Conference rival brought some early drama to the pandemic-affected tourney. Wichita State's Dexter Dennis made a 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining to trim Drake's lead to a point. The Bulldogs got the ball in to Yesufu, who was fouled. He missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give the Shockers a chance, but Wichita State's Alterique Gilbert settled for a long 3-pointer that hit the front rim as time expired. The win was extra validation for Drake coach Darian DeVries, who was rewarded with a contract extension through 2028-29 on Wednesday. Tremell Murphy added 11 points for 11th-seeded Drake (26-4), which advanced to play sixth-seeded Southern California in the West Region on Saturday. Morris Udeze scored a career-high 22 points and Dennis added 13 for Wichita State (16-6). It was the 152nd meeting between the former MVC rivals. Wichita State left for the American Athletic Conference in 2017. Both mid-major powers were given at-large bids into the NCAA field. Texas Southern 60, Mount St. Mary's 52: John Walker III scored a season-high 19 points and Jordan Gilliam had 12 to help Texas Southern erase a 10-point halftime deficit and beat Mount St. Mary's in the first NCAA Tournament game in nearly two years. It's the second straight First Four victory for the Tigers (17-8), who also won in 2018 their most recent tournament appearance. Texas Southern, the No. 16 seed in the East Region, won its 10th straight game and faces top-seeded Michigan (20-4) on Saturday. Walker also matched his career high with nine rebounds. Damian Chong Qui scored 14 points and Mezie Offurum had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the Mountaineers (12-11), who fell to 1-9 in tourney play. It was the first NCAA Tournament game since Virginia beat Texas Tech in overtime to win the national championship on April 8, 2019 a span of 710 days. And the atmosphere inside Indiana University's Assembly Hall was alien to the event known as March Madness. Only players, coaches and staff members were permitted on the court level and an estimated 150 people sat in the cavernous lower bowl. It didn't take long for Texas Southern to change the game after trailing 30-20 at the half. Walker and Gilliam scored the first 11 points to give the Tigers a 31-30 lead. The Tigers started pulling away with a 12-4 spurt that made it 46-42 with 8:10 to play and finally put the game away at the free-throw line. Love

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