Atsur, McCauley lead NC State past DrexelMar 14, 2007 - 4:59 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Engin Atsur scored 18 points and Ben McCauley scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds to lead North Carolina State to a 63-56 win over Drexel in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Seeded sixth in the East Region, the Wolfpack (19-15) will meet seventh seed Marist in a second-round matchup on Friday.
Drexel (23-9) had gained some notoriety since Sunday as one of the bigger snubs by the NCAA Selection Committee. The Dragons racked up 13 road wins this season - more than NCAA Tournament teams Michigan State, Indiana, Georgia Tech, Purdue and Vanderbilt combined - but could not get the job done at home against the Wolfpack.
Frank Elegar was 10-of-12 from the field and scored scored 24 points but was just 4-of-12 from the free thrown line. Elegar missed two free throws with 2:30 to play that would have given third-seeded Drexel the lead.
The Wolfpack were not much better at the line, making only 12-of-20, but McCauley split a pair to give N.C. State the lead for good, 55-54, with 2:13 to go.
Brandon Costner extended the lead to 58-54 with a three-point play with 1:09 remaining and Atsur made three free throws in the final 22 seconds to ice the game.
Dominick Mejia scored 11 points for the Dragons, who came in with something to prove and raced out to a 15-4 lead in the first 4:46 of the game.
- NIT EAST REGION
NCAA BB NIT EAST REGION
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
NC STATE 26 37 63
DREXEL 28 28 56 FINAL
Mar 13 10:00 PM
- NIT EAST REGION
NCAA BB (6) NC STATE 26
(3) DREXEL 28 HALFTIME
Mar 13 8:47 PM
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