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