Arizona vs. Drexel final score: Wildcats overcome 19-point deficit to reach NIT Season Tip-Off finals

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

A 25-4 run spanning both halves erased a massive deficit for Arizona. The Wildcats will now face either Duke or Alabama for the NIT Season Tip-Off title.

Down 19 and sputtering offensively, the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats exploded for a 25-4 run spanning both halves en route to a 66-62 win over Drexel in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals.

The Wildcats advance to face the winner of Duke and Alabama in Friday's championship game. The Dragons will face the loser in the third-place game.

The Dragons scored the first nine points of the game and cruised from there, building a 19-point lead 14 minutes in. Arizona scored just eight points in that span.

But the Wildcats came storming back. Nick Johnson started the Arizona run with a dunk with six minutes to play in the first half. He scored a quick seven points to help cut the Drexel lead to nine at halftime.

Arizona then scored 13 of the first 15 points of the second half to complete the comeback and take a 33-31 lead. In total, the Wildcats outscored Drexel, 25-4, in a span of about 10 minutes.

From there, things only got worse for Drexel. Damion Lee, who came into the game averaging 15 points and five rebounds for the Dragons, went down with a frightening-looking knee injury and had to be helped off the floor. His status for Friday is unknown.

Drexel stayed in the game, however, and was within striking distance until the final couple minutes when Arizona slowly extended its advantage. Johnson led the Wildcats in scoring with 20, but Kaleb Tarczewski (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Aaron Gordon (11 points, 12 rebounds) each had double-doubles in a game that Arizona dominated inside.

Arizona out-rebounded Drexel, 46-37, and made 23 of 30 free throws, while the Dragons only had the chance to attempt seven.

Chris Fouch had 29 points to lead Drexel in the losing effort.

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