Second-half effort propels UA past Drexel

Arizona's first half against Drexel went as poorly as possible, but a big second half allowed the Wildcats to win 66-62. Read on for a complete recap of Wednesday's game.

Arizona could not do anything right in the first half, but was able to turn it around in the second to defeat Drexel 66-62 at Madison Square Garden. With the win, Arizona now advances to Friday's final of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Damion Lee got the scoring off with a two and Frantz Massenat followed with a three. Soon after, a layup by Chris Fouch caused Arizona to call a timeout down 7-0 with around 17 minutes left in the first half.

Fouch hit two free-throws before Aaron Gordon finally got Arizona on the board. However, Fouch and Massenat scored, as T.J. McConnell got a bucket to cut the Drexel lead to 13-4 with 14:27 left in the first half.

Fouch scored, but Kaleb Tarczewski was able to answer. However, Massenat scored consecutive buckets to put the Dragons up 19-6 with about ten minutes left in the half. Damion Lee then hit a jumper and Fouch followed with a three that was only answered by two free-throws from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as Drexel took a 24-8 lead with 7:47 left.

Fouch proceeded to hit a three from NBA range, prompting Arizona to go on a run. It started with a basket from Nick Johnson and two free-throws by Ashley. Johnson then added a three-point play and Gordon followed with a basket that was matched by two free-throws by Johnson. A basket by Fouch then gave Drexel the 29-20 lead at the half.

McConnell started the second half with a three before Lee scored. Tarczewski and McConnell then hit consecutive baskets to force Drexel to call a timeout up 31-27 with 18:08 left in regulation.

Gordon followed with two free-throws and Tarczewski and Ashley scored consecutive baskets to give Arizona its first lead of the night, 33-31 with 15:41 left in regulation.

Fouch tried to get something going with a three and Hollis-Jefferson came back with a two. Fouch then hit another three before Tarczewski matched it with a three-point play. Tavon Allen got his first points of the game and a basket by Massenat put the Dragons up 41-38 with 11:45 left in regulation.

Tarczewski and Johnson then scored, but Mohamed Bah got a hoop off an offensive rebound. Tarczewski and Fouch exchanged buckets soon after as Drexel led 45-44 with 7:30 left in regulation. Tarczewski then had yet another dunk and a three by Johnson forced a Drexel timeout with the Wildcats leading 49-45 with under seven minutes left.

Rodney Williams scored his first points of the night, But Johnson followed with a three-point play and McConnell and Gordon made two free-throws each. Fouch hit a basket, but McConnell hit a three the next time down court. After a basket by Allen, Johnson made two free-throws to give Arizona a 61-53 lead with about a minute left.

Fouch and Johnson exchanged two free-throws each as Arizona stayed up eight. Massenat got a three-point play the next time down court. McConnell was fouled and made of two from the line before Allen made a layup with 19 seconds left.

Gabe York was then fouled and made both of his attempts. Fouch made a layup the next trip down, but it was too late, as Arizona advances to the final of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

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