Josh Young hit a fadeaway shot over Tony Freeman to give Drake a 63-61 victory over Southern Illinois on Thursday night. It was the third time the Bulldogs defeated the Salukis this season.
Ryan Wedel had 19 points and carried Drake in the second half with his 3-point shooting. The Bulldogs were down 51-41 when a Wedel three and two Craig Stanley free throws pulled Drake within five. An Adam Templeton lay-up in transition on a perfect feed from Stanley brought Drake within three.
Then Young shook off a tough shooting night to knock down consecutive 3-pointers to tie and take the lead. Southern Illinois battled back to make it 55-54, and Wedel nailed yet another shot from beyond the arc to push the Bulldogs up two.
Craig Stanley took over to score two driving lay-ups in the final two minutes to put Drake on top 61-59. Saluki center Gene Teague, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, put back an offensive rebound to tie the game.
Head Coach Mark Phelps called a time-out to set up an isolation for Young, and he delivered.
“There was no question at all who was going to take the last shot,” Phelps said. “We did what we needed to down the stretch.”
Young said even though he made the shot, it was important not to leave too much time. The last time Drake played, Young made a shot to tie the game with eight seconds left before Denver Holmes of Evansville made a three at the buzzer to win.
“I just remain calm and poised in situations like that,” Young said. “I’ve dreamed about hitting a shot like that.”
Drake will take on top seed Northern Iowa at noon tomorrow. A complete game recap will be available later tonight.