No. 12 Michigan State capped a wild five days in Hawaii with a 74-71 overtime victory over No. 9 Arizona yesterday to finish third in the Maui Invitational.
The trip to the 50th state started with a 22-point loss at the University of Hawaii that dropped the Spartans from their No. 4 preseason ranking. It included a 109-106 triple-overtime loss to No. 8 Gonzaga in the Maui semifinals.
Just 18 hours after leaving the Lahaina Civic Center after the loss to Gonzaga, the Spartans (2-2) looked impressive in building a big lead against Arizona only to see the Wildcats score 16 straight points to take a 60-58 lead. Paul Davis made two free throws with 30 seconds left to tie it and send the Spartans to overtime for the second straight day.
Shannon Brown, who had 19 points, gave the Spartans the lead for good at 70-68 with a jumper with 35 seconds left but, in keeping with the theme of the trip, the game had to have a crazy ending.
After Arizona freshman Marcus Williams missed two free throws with 8.5 seconds left, Davis hit two more free throws with 5.8 seconds left. Arizona's Chris Rodgers hit a three-pointer with a second left and immediately called a timeout. The Wildcats didn't have one left so a technical foul was charged and Maurice Ager made two free throws for the final margin.
* CONNECTICUT 65, GONZAGA 63: Denham Brown hit a turnaround jumper with 1.1 seconds to play to give the No. 3 Huskies a victory over the No. 8 Bulldogs in the championship game of the Maui Invitational.
The Huskies (4-0) were able to win for a second straight game with star forward Rudy Gay struggling offensively. Brown, center Hilton Armstrong and freshman forward Jeff Adrien all stepped up to fill the void, none bigger than Brown, who hit the winning shot over Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista.
The buzzer sounded but the officials put 1.1 seconds back on the clock and Gonzaga (3-1), which had reached the final by beating No. 12 Michigan State, 109-106, in triple overtime in one of the best regular season games ever played, wasn't able to get off a decent shot as the buzzer sounded for real.
* MEMPHIS 88, UCLA 80: In New York, Freshman Shawne Williams scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half to help the No. 11 Tigers hold off the No. 16 Bruins in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Williams was 7 for 7 in the first half, including five three-pointers, and Memphis shot 61 percent from the floor en route to a 51-34 lead at the break.
Memphis (3-0) will face top-ranked Duke in the final tomorrow night.
* DUKE 78, DREXEL 68: J.J Redick scored a season-high 31 points to help the top-ranked Blue Devils beat the pesky Dragons in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals in New York.
Duke (4-0) had run through its first three opponents, winning by an average of 33 points, holding them to 36.5 percent shooting, and forcing 57 turnovers.
Drexel (3-1) wasn't intimidated facing a top-ranked team for the first time in school history and found itself trailing 52-50 with 14:31 left in the second half before Duke went on a 7-0 run to take control.
Josh McRoberts had four points during the 7-0 run that put the Blue Devils ahead 59-50. Drexel could get no closer than five the rest of the way.
Duke advanced to the championship game tomorrow night against No. 11 Memphis.
* NEVADA 77, VERMONT 62: Marcellus Kemp scored 24 points and No. 22 Nevada snapped the Catamounts' 14-game home winning streak.
Kemp was 8 of 12 from the field and 7 of 8 from the line for the Wolf Pack (2-0) in its 11th consecutive road victory.
* OKLAHOMA 88, BINGHAMTON 60: Taj Gray, David Godbold and Michael Neal each scored 14 points to lead the No. 5 Sooners. Host Oklahoma built a 50-31 halftime lead and led by as many as 29.