Chaz Williams continued his sensational postseason with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, and UMass rallied for a 72-70 victory over Drexel Tuesday night in Philadelphia to advance to the semifinals of the NIT.
The Minutemen, seeded fifth in Region 3, will play the Region 4 champion (Nevada or Stanford) next Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The championship game is Thursday, also in New York City.
Terrell Vinson added 18 points for UMass (25-11), which was outrebounded 43-21 but shot 58.8 percent from the field (including a blistering 70.8 percent in the second half).
Dartaye Ruffin led third-seeded Drexel (29-7) with 17 points.
UMass trailed by 10 points at the half, 41-31, and by 17 points in the second period. The Minutemen finally forged ahead with a late 13-2 run that started and ended with Vinson jumpers. His 17-footer with 4:13 remaining put UMass up by six, 68-62.
Drexel closed to within two points on two Frank Massenat free throws with 1:23 remaining, but that was the last points for either team. The Dragons missed three jumpers that would have tied the game and then a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
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