UM men put un­beaten record on the line in Wooden ti­tle game

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - College Basketball - From Mi­ami Herald Staff, Wires — MICHELLE KAUF­MAN

The Univer­sity of Mi­ami men’s bas­ket­ball team is 5-0 and headed to Sun­day night’s cham­pi­onship game of the Wooden Legacy tour­na­ment in Fuller­ton, Cal­i­for­nia, thanks to Zach John­son’s spec­tac­u­lar put­back dunk just be­fore the buzzer in Fri­day’s 78-76 semi­fi­nal win over Fresno State.

The Hur­ri­canes will play Se­ton Hall (3-2), which beat Hawaii in the other semi­fi­nal. Sun­day’s fi­nal is at 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2).

Se­ton Hall is led by ju­nior guard Miles Pow­ell, who scored 40 points in the tour­na­ment opener against Grand Canyon and had 19 against Hawaii. The game will be a re­union for UM coach Jim Lar­rñ­naga and Se­ton Hall as­sis­tant coach Tony Skinn, who played point guard on Lar­rañaga’s George Ma­son 2006 Fi­nal Four team.

John­son, a grad­u­ate trans­fer who led the Hur­ri­canes with 24 points off the bench Fri­day, was es­pe­cially thrilled with his gamewin­ning bas­ket be­cause it made up for an un­timely foul he had just com­mit­ted on three-point shooter Deshon Tay­lor, who made all his free throws to tie the game at 76-76.

UM sopho­more guard Chris Lykes pulled up for a three atop the key on the Canes’ fi­nal pos­ses­sion, missed, and then John­son flew up to the rim un­touched from the left side and slammed the ball in with 0.2 sec­onds re­main­ing. The Mi­ami bench erupted as John­son landed from his dunk. John­son, a Nor­land High grad, joined the Canes this sea­son af­ter four years at Florida Gulf Coast.

“I thought Chris had a great look, there were about six or eight sec­onds left and I knew that our best chance to win, if he missed it, was to get on the of­fen­sive board,” John­son said. “I took off, the ball just bounced my way and I put it back in.”

John­son said the Canes are ex­cited about Sun­day’s fi­nal.

“A lot of teams don’t get to play for cham­pi­onships through­out the sea­son and to have the op­por­tu­nity to play in this cham­pi­onship is great for our team and our pro­gram and it’s a good feel­ing.”

Lykes fin­ished with 17 points and five re­bounds.

Mi­ami was still with­out for­ward De­wan Her­nan­dez, who did not make the trip. He is be­ing held out of com­pe­ti­tion while his el­i­gi­bil­ity sta­tus is ex­am­ined by the school and NCAA. No word on his re­turn.


A No. 12 Kansas State

77, Le­high 58: Dean Wade scored 14 of his 18 points in the sec­ond half, Barry Brown added 16 and the host Wild­cats beat the Moun­tain Hawks.

The Wild­cats (6-0) con­trolled the sec­ond half af­ter the Moun­tain Hawks hung around and trailed by two at half­time.

James Karnik had 15 points and eight re­bounds for Le­high (4-2), and Pat An­dree scored 12. Le­high com­piled 16 turnovers and made just nine field goals in the sec­ond half, shoot­ing 28 per­cent. Le­high shot 54 per­cent in the first half.

Brown con­verted a three-point play to give K-State a 50-40 lead with 14 min­utes re­main­ing.

That was part of a 12-5 run by the Wild­cats that gave them a 57-45 lead.

A No. 13 Vir­ginia Tech

75, Saint Fran­cis (Pa.) 37: Ahmed Hill scored eight of his 19 points dur­ing a 24-6 run span­ning half­time, and the host Hok­ies beat the Red Flash.

The Hok­ies (5-0) led 23-20 when a 3-pointer by Ty Out­law sparked a 10-2 run to end the first half. Nick­eil Alexan­der-Walker made an­other 3-pointer right af­ter half­time, one of 14 for Vir­ginia Tech, and two 3s and a bas­ket from Hill and a three-point play by Justin Robin­son pushed the lead to 47-26.

Myles Thomp­son led the Red Flash (1-4) with 14 points. St. Fran­cis shot just 25.9 per­cent (15 for 58) and com­mit­ted 22 turnovers.

A No. 22 Buf­falo 76, Marist 49: CJ Mass­in­burg scored 21 points, Jayvon Graves added 16 and the Bulls (5-0) re­mained un­beaten by over­com­ing a slow start to beat the host Red Foxes (1-4). Mass­in­burg re­turned af­ter miss­ing one game with a sprained knee and shot 7 of 10 from the field with six three­p­oint­ers in 25 min­utes off the bench.

CJ Mass­in­burg scored 21 points, Jayvon Graves added 16 and Buf­falo over­came a slow start to beat Marist.

Mass­in­burg re­turned af­ter miss­ing one game with a sprained knee and shot 7 of 10 from the field with six 3-point­ers in 25 min­utes off the bench.

Jeremy Har­ris had eight as­sists and Nick Perkins pulled down seven re­bounds for the Bulls in their sec­ond blowout vic­tory at home. Ryan Funk and Austin Wil­liams each scored 10 points to lead Marist.

The Citadel 87, South A

Florida 81: Lew Stall­worth tossed in 25 points and sopho­more re­serve Kaiden Rice scored 22 as the Bull­dogs (4-2) ral­lied past the host Bulls (4-2).

Late Fri­day — No. 2


Kansas 87, No. 5 Ten­nessee 81 (OT): Dedric Law­son had 24 points, 13 re­bounds and five as­sists, and the Jay­hawks (5-0) ral­lied to beat the Vol­un­teers (4-1) in over­time in the NIT Sea­son Tip-Off ti­tle game in New York.

Late Fri­day — No. 6


Ne­vada 110, Mas­sachusetts 87: Caleb Martin scored 29 points, Tre’Shawn Thur­man added 22 points and eight re­bounds, and the Wolf Pack (6-0), trounced the Min­ute­men (4-2) in the Las Ve­gas In­vi­ta­tional’s sec­ond cham­pi­onship game.


A No. 17 South Florida 60, UCLA 56: Sydni Har­vey scored a ca­reer-high 19 points be­fore foul­ing out, Laura Fer­reira added 14 and the Bulls (5-2) beat the Bru­ins (3-4) in the Par­adise Jam at St. Thomas, U.S. Vir­gin, Is­lands.

A No. 21 Mis­souri 65, Quin­nip­iac 51: So­phie Cun­ning­ham scored 26 points and grabbed 10 re­bounds, Am­ber Smith also had a dou­ble-dou­ble and the Tigers beat Quin­nip­iac (2-3) in the con­so­la­tion semi­fi­nals of the Gulf Coast Show­case at Es­tero.

Cun­ning­ham made 7 of 14 shots and 9 of 12 free throws, and also had three as­sists and two blocks. Smith had 17 points and 10 re­bounds for Mis­souri (4-2).

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