Washington State survives maddening 2nd half to beat Drake 66-61 in March Madness

Fri, Mar 22, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Washington State survives maddening 2nd half to beat Drake 66-61 in March Madness

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Isaac Jones had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Isaiah Watts' first 3-pointer in three games gave Washington State the lead with 1:51 left and the seventh-seeded Cougars beat No. 10 Drake 66-61 in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

The Cougars (25-9) shot just 29.6% while trailing most of the second half, but Drake's season-worst 6-of-14 performance at the free-throw line allowed them to win in their first tournament appearance since 2008.

WSU will play Saturday in the East Region second round against No. 2 Iowa State (28-7), which beat South Dakota State 82-65.

Drake (28-7) had its largest lead at 54-46 when WSU started its comeback.

Tucker DeVries had a shot swirl in and out, and Andrej Jakimovski made a 3 from the wing to get the Cougars within 54-51. Drake's Darnell Brodie had the ball slip out of his hands as he was making a move to the basket, and Jones snaked in for a layup on the other end to make it 54-53.

Brodie, who controlled much of the second half for Drake offensively, fouled out with 2:26 left before Watts connected for the lead. The Cougars made 5 of 6 free throws to hold off the Bulldogs.

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Atin Wright had 20 points and DeVries, the two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year, added 14 for the Bulldogs.

Jaylen Wells had 17 points for Washington State, which improved to 21-0 when leading at halftime.

The teams' only previous meeting was in 1935, a 28-27 Washington State victory at home.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

ERIC OLSON Olson is an Associated Press sports writer based in Omaha, Nebraska. He covers Nebraska, Creighton, the Big Ten and national college sports issues. twitter mailto "
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