Friday, March 21, 2008


"Party Like it's 1969." So read a sign from a Drake fan, who was hoping his Bulldogs could make its first run to a Final Four since 1969. Ty Rogers had other plans.

Rogers hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Western Kentucky and incredible, 101-99 overtime win over Drake in today's opener. Hard to top this start to today's slate of first-round games at the St. Pete Times Forum.

WKU led by 9 at halftime and by 16 midway through the latter half, but you can never count out a team that shoots 3's like the Bulldogs. Drake bounced back from 5-for-17 3-point shooting in the first half and hit 11 of 25 in the latter.

Drake tied the game at 88-88 on Jonathan Cox's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left, and that's how it remained after regulation.

A pair of Cox free throws with 5.7 seconds left gave Drake a 99-98 lead. After a timeout, Rogers inbounded the ball to Tyrone Brazelton (game-high 33 points), who took the ball up the floor and dished off to Rogers just beyond NBA 3-point distance.

With three Drake defenders draping him, Rogers canned the game-winner.

The teams combined for 30 3-pointers (on 70 attempts).

WKU is tough. Obviously, the Hilltoppers can hit the 3, but they're also very athletic. They also play mostly zone, and while it didn't prevent Drake from posting 99 points on them, zone defenses have given UConn problems this season.

If UConn is able to beat San Diego this afternoon, the Huskies are in for a tough match-up on Sunday.


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