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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

FINAL: Arizona beats Drexel 66-62

For the first time this season, Arizona basketball was held under 40 percent shooting, but was able to hang on to a 66-62 win over Drexel to advance to the final round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

The No. 4 Wildcats (6-0) will face No. 6 Duke (6-1), which beat Alabama (3-2) 74-64, in the championship on Friday.

Drexel (3-2) led the game 9-0 until UA freshman forward Aaron Gordon scored the Wildcats’ first points with a layup. The Dragons entered the second half with a 29-20 lead as Arizona turned the ball over 10 times the first 20 minutes.

About three minutes into the second half, Wildcats sophomore center Kaleb Tarczewski knotted the game up at 31. Following Tarczewski’s tying bucket, Arizona and Drexel continued to go back and forth, exchanging 11 different lead changes.

The Wildcats had trouble stopping Drexel’s senior guards Chris Fouch and Frantz Massenat throughout the entire game. The dynamic pair combined for 46 points, six rebounds and four assists.

With 7:20 seconds to play, Tarczewski gave the UA a 46-45 lead and would hold the lead over the Dragons for the remainder of the game.

Gordon (11 points, 12 rebounds) and Tarczewski (15 points, 10 rebounds) were the only players on either side to earn double-doubles in the contest. For the second time in the last three games, junior guard Nick Johnson delivered another 20-plus point performance.

Tarczewski’s 15 points is a career high and it was his first double-double.

Tip off for the final round against Duke will be at 4 p.m. Arizona time on Friday in Madison Square Garden.

— Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo

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