The Panthers, moving to 7-0 for just the second time since moving to the NCAA-II level in 1994-95, charged back from a 56-46 deficit with a 16-0 run to grab the lead, then withstood a late rally by Wayne State (5-2) to pick up a Midwest Region road win that could prove beneficial for their post-season hopes.
And, it also set up an intriguing showdown on Tuesday night in Las Vegas for the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic, when the Panthers will square off against No. 6 and defending national champion Western Washington (7-0) in a 7 p.m. (CST) tipoff from the South Point Casino.
Adams went 8 for 12 from the field and 4 for 4 at the free-throw line and time and time again came up with the big buckets when needed most by Drury.
The Panthers trailed 44-37 at halftime, thanks to an 11-0 run by the Warriors midway through the half that saw them surge into the lead. That deficit grew to 10 points on a couple of second-half occasions before coach Steve Hesser's squad delivered the 16-0 flurry, capped by a pair of 3-pointers from junior guard/forward Lonnie Boga, the Wisconsin-Milwaukee transfer who became eligible on Saturday for DU.
Boga finished with 11 points in 18 minutes in his first game action in 21 months, and provided a spark on the defensive end with a couple of drawn charges as well.
"That kind of got us some juice," Hesser said of Boga's efforts. "Cameron Adams played a great game and Lonnie really gave us a lift ... I'm just really proud of the way our guys competed in the second half.
"I was upset, would be the proper word, with how we competed in the first half. We are better than that. I asked them to show me what kind of team they wanted to be with their competitive efforts in the second half, they really stepped it up. Wayne State's quickness and athleticism bothered us ... they're a good basketball team, and we feel very, very fortunate to get out of here with a victory."
And there were some anxious moments late for the Panthers, who outscored the Warriors 45-34 in the second half.
Drury led 77-70 with just over three minutes to go, but by the time Mike Hollingsworth drained a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left, Wayne State had cut that to 77-75.
A Kameron Bundy free throw put the Panthers up 78-75 with 15 seconds to go, but Alex Hall fouled Hollingsworth on a 3-point try with nine seconds left. However, Hollingsworth made just two of the three free throws, and with a one-point lead, Hall hit four free throws the rest of the way to seal the triumph and avenge for DU a 61-51 loss to Wayne State last season at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Hall finished with 16 points and by going 6-for-6 on Saturday, is now perfect in his 21 free-throw attempts this season. Boga's 11 points came on 4 of 7 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. The Panthers were 30 of 60 from the field (50 percent) and 8 of 12 from 3-point range (67 percent).
Wayne State, led by Hollingsworth's 21 points, shot 46 percent (26 of 56) from the floor. The Warriors outrebounded DU 17-13 in the opening half, but the Panthers charged back to win the boards 35-31, including 10 offensive rebounds for DU over the final 20 minutes.
Drury had 11 turnovers in the opening half and finished with 19, while 12 of WSU's 16 miscues came after halftime.
Now the Panthers will get to take on a Western Washington team - the host of the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic - that has won 13 consecutive games over two seasons, including the NCAA-II title last March.
"We've told our guys that now that school is out for the (semester) break, we've got a great opportunity to get better," Hesser said. "We have a chance to get some feedback from these next three games (counting the Wayne State contest) to see exactly where we are, what we need to work on, and to find out what our identity is."
The Panthers will take on defending Heartland Conference champion St. Mary's (6-1) on Wednesday at 9 p.m. (CST) to close out the two-game trip to Vegas.