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DeVries scores 27, Drake back to NCAAs after topping Indiana State 84-80 in MVC

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored 27 points, Darnell Brodie had four of his 17 in the last 67 seconds and Drake defended its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title for an NCAA berth with an 84-80 win over Indiana State on Sunday despite blowing an 18-point lead in the last 10 minutes.

The second-seeded Bulldogs (28-7) recovered down the stretch with a 10-2 run in the last 3 1/2 minutes to make their seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament while matching the school record for wins.

DeVries, the two-time MVC Player of the Year, hit a 3-pointer midway through the second half for a 67-49 lead. But Isaiah Swope led the charge back, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers and converting a four-point play with 4:08 to play that gave the top-seeded Sycamores a 73-72 lead, their first since 2-0.

Swope made three free throws for a 76-74 lead with 3:36 to go but DeVries tied the game and Conor Enright it a 3-pointer with two minutes to go. Brodie had the next four points to make it 83-78.

“Credit Indiana State for never quitting, continuing to fight,” Drake coach Darian DeVries said. “I thought our guys showed incredible resolve there when all the momentum was gone ... just make the plays we needed to do. I'm incredibly proud of them.”

Atin Wright had 19 points for Drake, which was 11 of 18 from 3-point range (61%) and 31 of 60 overall. The Bulldogs had 10 new players come in after winning last year's title.

“There's been a lot of hard times throughout this year but the resilience of this group, it's been a lot of fun,” Tucker DeVries said. “There's no better way to do it than with 10 new guys. You look back to June, we had a long ways to go. To get to this point is really special.”

Jayson Kent, who had six points in the 24-5 rally, had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Sycamores (28-6), who were trying to get to their fifth NCAA Tournament and first since 2011. Swope had all 19 of his points in the second half. Robbie Avila added 15, Ryan Conwell 13 and Julian Larry 10.

Indiana State was 7 of 24 from distance, 24 of 35 on two-pointers.

The Bulldogs hit their first seven 3-pointers, the last coming at the 7:36 mark of the first half when Wright hit for a 37-23 lead. Cornwell scored seven-straight points for the Sycamores, but Devries scored in the last minute for a 45-32 halftime lead.

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