It wasn't pretty, but Drake is advancing in the NCAA tournament.
Led by a strong showing from Joseph Yesufu, the Bulldogs knocked off Wichita State, 53-52, in First Four action.
Wichita State had a chance to win the game down one after Yesufu missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Alterique Gilbert's three at the buzzer hit the front of the rim and Drake survived.
Be it nerves or just excellent defense, the two teams got off to a sluggish start on the offensive end, with Wichita State taking a 21-20 lead into halftime. The Shockers shot just 28.1 percent in the first half, while the Bulldogs weren't much better at 30.8 percent.
There was this Yesufu arena-rattling dunk to liven things up, however:
Things didn't exactly open up in the second half. Wichita State finished 3-of-18 from three and 11-of-22 from the free-throw line. Drake turned the ball over 13 times and had seven shots blocked.
Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops
Give Drake a ton of credit. Bulldogs were close to being blown out early, but hung around. Heck of a win and season. Lost Roman Penn for season, Tank Hemphill plays 10 minutes in first game back from broken foot. Joseph Yesufu was awesome. Drake gets Evan Mobley and USC next.
Hey, March Madness isn't always about free-flowing, beautiful basketball. Sometimes it's a backyard scrap. Drake will take the win, however ugly.
Joseph Yesufu, Drake: 21 points
Darnell Brodie, Drake: Nine points, 10 rebounds
Tremell Murphy, Drake: 11 points
Morris Udeze, Wichita State: 22 points
Tyson Etienne, Wichita State: One point, 0-of-6 from the field
Dexter Dennis, Wichita State: 13 points, seven rebounds
Joseph Yesufu Came to Play
Drake struggled mightily with Wichita State's defense throughout the game, but Yesufu repeatedly had an answer or a big shot up his sleeve. He carried the Bulldogs.
Seriously, for the majority of this game Drake's offense was pretty putrid:
Hey, a win's a win. And Yesufu was excellent. Drake can thank him for carrying it to the first round.
Tyson Etienne Had a Night to Forget
On a night when Wichita State's leading scorer, Etienne, struggled mightily from the field and got himself in foul trouble, Udeze tried to pick up the slack with arguably his best game of the season.
It still wasn't enough. The Shockers relied on Udeze's big performance and a stout defensive showing to stay in the game. They desperately needed Etienne to provide a spark, however, and he simply couldn't find his rhythm.
It was a tough way for him to end an otherwise excellent season. You can imagine he won't have to search far for inspiration this offseason.
Drake will face sixth-seeded USC on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET.