“After two weeks off, I thought we were OK,” he said. “We were not as sharp as we have been.
“I think we were the superior team. We gave them a million opportunities, but we never lost the lead.”
DeAndre Lowery and Thaddeus Perry were the keys to Ashford’s early advantage. Lowery scored 12 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, and Perry had nine of his 16. Woods was limited to five.
Kyle Holmes matched Shular to lead Fisher with 18 points, and O.J. Moore added 13.
Drake expects another tough game tonight against Northern New Mexico (15-15).
“They’re big, talented, physical and battle-tested,” he said. “I know they’ll be ready, (and) I’m sure our guys will be ready.
Northern New Mexico 71,
Eric Garcia made 10 of 11 shots from the field in the first men’s semifinal Friday, leading third-seeded Northern New Mexico past No. 2 seed Rochester 71-61 and into tonight’s 8 o’clock title game.
Northern New Mexico shot 55.1 percent from the field as a team and made 12 of 14 free throws.
The Eagles (15-15) went ahead to stay at 47-45 with 13:02 left on two free throws by Rodney Coles, who was fouled after coming up with a steal.
The two teams went back and forth for much of the first half. There were four ties and 14 lead changes before Rochester’s Jeroen De Baat dunked for a 24-23 lead with 8:11 left that put the Warriors ahead for the rest of the half. Their lead reached seven twice, and they took a 37-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Rochester (22-7) maintained the advantage until Garcia tied it at 43 with 14:36 left in the game. A jumper by Stavros Schizas put the Warriors back on top 16 seconds later, but a layup by Northern New Mexico’s Daniel Chatchou with 13:20 created the sixth tie of the game and started a 6-0 run that put the Eagles in front to stay.