UMass spoiled Drexels NIT run Tuesday night with a 72-70 comeback win over the Dragons at the Daskalakis Center in West Philly.
Drexel led by 17 points at 53-36 with 16 12 minutes to go before UMass went on a 26-7 run to take its first lead of the night at 62-60 with 7 12 minutes to go.
The Minutemen finished the game on a 36-17 run.
The loss was only Drexels third since the first week of December.
With Drexel trailing by two with 35 seconds left, Samme Givens missed a tip-in on a Daryl McCoy miss that would have tied the game.
UMass point guard Chaz Williams missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 17 seconds left, and Frantz Massenats drive to the lane hit the rim with five seconds left.
Chris Fouch got off a desperation 35-footer at the buzzer that wasnt close.
Drexel shot 17-for-33 in the first half (52 percent) but just 11-for-29 in the second half (38 percent).
U. Mass shot 13-for-27 in the first half (48 percent) and 17-for-24 in the second half (71 percent).
U. Mass junior forward Terrell Vinson, held to just six points in the first 30 minutes, scored 12 in the final 10 minutes.
Drexels late-season free throw problems were an issue again. The Dragons were just 13-for-20 from the foul line.
Two days earlier in the same gym, Drexel nearly blew an 18-point lead over Northern Iowa before hanging on for a two-point win.
Dartaye Ruffin scored all 17 of his points for Drexel in the first half. Massenat finished with 16 points, Givens had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Derrick Thomas added 10 for the Dragons.
Williams led U. Mass with 20 points and Vinson scored 13 of his 18 in the second half.
The game pitted Drexel coach Bruiser Flint against U. Mass coach Derek Kellogg, who played at UMass when Flint was an assistant coach there.
Drexel, which scored a season-high 41 points in the first half, managed only 29 in the second half, struggling with Massachusetts pressure and with its own shooting.
Drexel, a very good three-point shooting team, was 0-for-7 in the first half, missed its first nine, and finished 1-for-13 from long-range.
Drexel finished the season with a school-record 29 wins and seven losses, going 27-3 in its last 30 games after a 2-4 start.
The Dragons seven losses were to teams averaging 23 wins. Six of the seven teams that beat VCU (29), Norfolk (26), U. Mass (25), Virginia (22), Georgia State (22), St. Joes (20) won at least 20 games, and t seventh, Delaware, won 18.
The loss ended an 18-game home winning streak for Drexel, which had won its first 15 home games this year.
Drexel returns everybody on the roster except for Samme Givens, who averaged 11.6 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds this year.
UMass improved to 25-11. The Minutemen, who had lost four of their last six going into the NIT, will face the winner of Wednesdays Nevada-Stanford game in a semifinal game next Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
UMass is now 3-4 this year vs. Philly schools, losing to La Salle twice, splitting with Temple and St. Joseph's and beating Drexel.