LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nick McGlynn had 19 points and a critical block in the closing seconds, Tremell Murphy scored 14 and had a late steal, and Drake held on for a 66-63 win over New Mexico State on Saturday at the Las Vegas Classic.
Nick Norton scored nine of his 11 points in the second half for Drake (9-2), which is off to its best start since the 2007-08 season when the Bulldogs started 22-1 and advanced to the NCAA tournament — their last trip to the Big Dance.
Terrell Brown’s 3-pointer sparked an 8-2 spurt that pulled the Aggies within one after his dunk with 1:16 to play. Norton sandwiched a 3 and a layup around a basket by NMSU’s AJ Harris to make it 64-60 with 32 seconds left. Brown hit another 3 and McGlynn missed the front end of a one-and-one with 11 seconds remaining, but he blocked Brown’s layup attempt six seconds later. McGlynn grabbed the rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws to make it 66-63 with three seconds left and the ensuing inbounds pass was intercepted by Murphy to seal it.
Brown led the Aggies (9-3) with 17 points. New Mexico State shot 33 percent from the field, including 6 of 33 (18 percent) from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 15 in the second half and Norton’s layup gave them a 48-37 lead with 10:15 to go. But Drake missed six of its next seven shots and committed four turnovers as NMSU used a 13-6 run to trim its deficit to 54-50 when Brown hit a 3-pointer with 3:27 left.
The Aggies made just two of their final 18 first-half shots and Drake closed on an 8-1 run to make it 35-25 at the break.