Mar 18, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; The Drake Bulldogs celebrate after defeating the Wichita State Shockers during the First Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

It was a nail biter in the First Four as the Drake Bulldogs held off the Wichita State Shockers 53-52. While Drake was trying to hang onto the lead by the end of the game, they had to make multiple comebacks to even get to that point.

If there was any indication that momentum and resiliency can help a team, it was the Bulldogs who went hot and cold throughout the contest. In the middle of the first half, Drake went scoreless for 6:02 as the Shockers went on a 10-0 run.

After erasing a 12 point margin by halftime, Drake fell behind again in the second half. Going on a 6:55 scoreless streak, Wichita State had a 14-2 run to go up by 11. For the final 10 minutes, Drake staged another comeback, hitting threes to bridge the gap.

Now in the final minute, with Drake up four, they had to be the ones to hold a lead and things got tense.

Alterique Gilbert got the layup to cut the gap in half but Joseph Yesufu hit both free throws to keep Drake up four with 22 seconds left. Needing a big play, Dexter Dennis drained a three to get Wichita State within one and make it a one possession game even with the impending free throws.

After Yesufu missed the free throw, Wichita State had the ball, down one, with 5.3 seconds left. Maybe Isaac Brown should’ve called time out but nevertheless, the Shockers went with the flow to try and get the win. Gilbert launched a deep three at the buzzer that hit the rim, giving the win to Drake.

For Drake, they will move on and face #6 seed USC in the West Region on Sunday.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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