Diamond Head Classic

Associated Press

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 3 Oklahoma takes Diamond Head Classic crown

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 3 Oklahoma 83, Harvard 71

Trailing by two at the half, the third-ranked Sooners went on a 21-0 run to take control of the Diamond Head Classic title game. Buddy Hield scored 34 points and Jordan Woodard added 28 for Lon Kruger’s team, but can they be a national title contender? Read more about those possibilities here.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Hawai’i 79, Auburn 67: Roderick Bobbitt reached the 30-point mark for the second straight game, scoring 30 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field and 8-for-8 from the foul line (he scored 32 on Oklahoma Wednesday night), to lead the Rainbow Warriors to third place at the Diamond Head Classic. The depth advantage for Eran Ganot’s team, which also received 21 and eight boards from Stefan Jankovic, is why they were able to close the game on a 19-4 run.

Horace Spencer and Tyler Harris both fouling out for Auburn, and Kareem Canty had to spend some time on the bench in the second half with four fouls. Canty led the Tigers 22 points, bouncing back from his 1-for-15 outing against Auburn, and Bryce Brown added 20.

BYU 84, Northern Iowa 76: Dave Rose’s Cougars picked up a quality win for their resume in the Diamond Head Classic’s fifth-place game, using a 19-2 first half run to establish the distance needed to hold off the Panthers. Chase Fischer scored 26 points, hitting four more three-pointers, and Kyle Collinsworth tallied 12 points, 17 rebounds and six assists to lead the way for BYU. UNI scored 24 points off of 15 BYU turnovers, but their inability to hit shots (40 percent from the field) when not benefitting from Cougar mistakes proved to be the difference.

Washington State 82, New Mexico 59: The Mountain West took another hit Christmas Day, as the Lobos were blown out by Washington State in the seventh place game at the Diamond Head Classic. Josh Hawkinson, who played just seven minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, scored 12 of his 19 in the second half and as a team Wazzu shot 54.2 percent from the field and 11-for-20 from three.

Hawkinson led five Cougars in double figures. After getting off to a good start to the season the Lobos once again struggled defensively and with turnovers, and they have many kinks to work out ahead of their Mountain West opener Wednesday night.

STARRED

Buddy Hield and Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma: Hield and Woodard combined to score 62 points on 20-for-27 shooting from the field in their win over Harvard.

Zena Edosomwan, Harvard: Oklahoma did not have an answer for the Harvard big man, who tallied 25 points and 16 rebounds in a losing effort.

Chase Fischer, BYU: One game after hitting nine three-pointers Fischer hit four more, scoring 26 points in the Cougars’ win over Northern Iowa. Fischer shot 13-for-25 from three in wins over New Mexico and Northern Iowa.

Roderick Bobbitt, Hawai’i: Bobbitt shot extremely well in scoring 30 points in a win over Auburn, shooting 8-for-13 from the field and 8-for-8 from the foul line.

STRUGGLED

Cullen Neal, New Mexico: Things got so bad for the redshirt sophomore that he was benched for the entire second half in the Lobos’ loss to Washington State. In eight minutes Neal went scoreless and didn’t have an assist, committing five turnovers.

New Mexico’s three-point shooters: Neal wasn’t the only one who struggled, as the Lobos shot 0-for-10 from three on the day.

Patrick Steeves, Harvard: In 28 minutes off the bench Steeves made just one of his eight shots from the field, scoring two points.

Isaiah Cousins, Oklahoma: Cousins didn’t have the night teammates Hield and Woodard had, scoring seven points on 2-for-11 shooting.

No. 3 Oklahoma stays unbeaten with 84-81 win over Hawaii

Associated Press
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HONOLULU (AP) Buddy Hield had 27 points and nine rebounds as No. 3 Oklahoma remained unbeaten, escaping with an 84-81 victory over Hawaii in a Diamond Head Classic semifinal on Wednesday night.

The Sooners (10-0) got a career-high 17 points from Khadeem Lattin and 14 from Isaiah Cousins.

Hield was 7 of 16 from the field, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range, and he made all six of his free throw attempts. He had 18 points at halftime.

Roderick Bobbitt scored a career-high 32 points and had six assists for the Rainbow Warriors (8-2), who had their four-game winning streak snapped. It was their first loss on their home court this season.

Hawaii had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but Bobbitt’s desperation 3-pointer was no good.

Oklahoma, which led by as many as 16 points in the first half, was up 41-40 at halftime.

There were six ties and 12 lead changes in the game.

The game was tied at 75 on a slicing layup by Hawaii’s Isaac Fleming with 4:22 remaining, but the Sooners took the lead for good on two free throws by Hield with 1:42 to play.

Bobbitt drew a foul attempting a 3-pointer and made his first two attempts to get Hawaii within 83-81 with 4 seconds to play. He missed the third free throw intentionally and Lattin grabbed the rebound for Oklahoma.

Lattin made the first of two free throws before Hawaii got the ball back with 1.2 seconds to play.

Oklahoma got off to a hot start as Hield scored 16 points in the first 9 minutes. Akolda Manyang’s banker with 10:42 left in the half gave the Sooners a 25-9 lead, but the Rainbow Warriors went on an 8-1 run to take the lead at 27-26.

Hawaii scored 18 points off 12 Oklahoma turnovers and held the edge in bench points, 23-10.

Both teams were 24 of 33 from the free throw line.

Oklahoma leads the all-time series against Hawaii 2-1.

TIP-INS

Oklahoma: It was the 28th time in Hield’s career that he eclipsed the 20-point mark. He had a career-high 33 points against Creighton on Dec. 19, and 25 against Washington State on Tuesday.

Hawaii: It was the highest-ranked opponent for the Rainbow Warriors since beating No. 2 Kansas in the 1997 Rainbow Classic. It is their best start to a season since winning their first eight games in 2004.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma will play Harvard for the tournament title Friday.

Hawaii will meet Auburn in the third-place game Friday.

Late Night Snacks: George Washington wins the Diamond Head Classic

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GAME OF THE DAY: George Washington 60, No. 11 Wichita State 54

A strategic move by head coach Mike Lonergan proved to be the difference as the Colonials capped a good week in Honolulu with the Diamond Head Classic title. Having some issues defending Wichita State’s ball screen action George Washington switched to its 1-3-1 defense, and it paid off. The Colonials were able to force some turnovers, and when they didn’t turn the ball over Wichita State spent far too much time trying to figure out the defense and not enough time attacking it.

With freshman Yuta Watanabe at the top of the zone George Washington has an active player with good wingspan, and that impacted the way in which Wichita State was able to find shots down the stretch. Kethan Savage scored 12 points to lead three Colonials in double figures, with Watanabe scoring eight of his ten in the second half. Kevin Larsen, who finished the game with ten points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks, was named tournament MVP.

Fred Van Vleet scored 11 points to lead Wichita State, but he shot 4-for-15 from the field and Ron Baker scored nine points on 4-for-12 shooting. Not only is this a big win for George Washington’s resume, but it’s also a good result for the Atlantic 10 as a whole moving forward.

THURSDAY’S OUTCOMES

1. Hawaii 69, Colorado 66

This turned out to be a very good tournament for Benjy Taylor’s Rainbow Warriors, as they won two games and nearly knocked off No. 11 Wichita State in the semifinals. Freshman guard Isaac Fleming was a handful for Hawaii, as he tallied 18 points, six rebounds and five assists off the bench, and starters Garrett Nevels and Negus Webster-Chan added 12 apiece. Josh Scott scored 23 points and Askia Booker 22 for the Buffaloes, whose non-conference resume took another hit with the loss.

2. Nebraska 71, Ohio 58

Tim Miles’ Cornhuskers rebounded from their loss to Hawaii with wins over Loyola Marymount and Ohio to go 2-1 in Hawaii. Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields scored 22 points apiece, with Petteway also grabbing ten rebounds for the winners. Javarez Willis scored 15 points but Ohio shot just 37.7% from the field and finished the game with 15 turnovers and just seven assists.

3. Loyola Marymount 72, DePaul 69

While one team ended a six-game losing streak in this one, the other (DePaul) has now lost six straight. Evan Payne scored 24 points and Ayodeji Egbeyemi 20 for Mike Dunlap’s Lions, who will go into WCC play with some positive momentum. As for the Blue Demons, all five starters reached double figures but they once again struggled defensively, as LMU shot better than 53 percent from the field. DePaul begins Big East play with two homes games (Marquette and Xavier), but given the way they’re playing it’s tough to see Oliver Purnell’s team turning things around.

STARRED

1. Terran Petteway (Nebraska) 

22 points and ten rebounds in Nebraska’s 71-58 win over Ohio.

2. Evan Payne (Loyola Marymount) 

24 points in the Lions’ 72-69 win over DePaul.

3. Isaac Fleming (Hawaii) 

18 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Rainbow Warriors’ 69-66 win over Colorado.

STRUGGLED

1. Forrest Robinson (DePaul) 

Scored three points on 1-for-9 shooting in DePaul’s 72-69 loss to Loyola Marymount.

2. Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker (Wichita State)

Scored a total of 20 points, doing so on 8-for-27 shooting in the Shockers’ 60-54 loss to George Washington.

BYU, Oklahoma among eight teams to participate in 2015 Diamond Head Classic

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With the 2014 Diamond Head Classic set to tip off in Honolulu on Monday, the eight-team field for next year’s event was announced on Sunday. Joining host Hawaii are Auburn, BYU, Harvard, New Mexico, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma and Washington State.

Of the teams in the field four, BYU, Harvard, New Mexico and Oklahoma, reached the NCAA tournament a season ago. Oklahoma is the only team in the field currently ranked in the AP Top 15, with the Sooners ranked 15th. Northern Iowa was in the poll last week, but fell out following their double overtime loss at VCU.

BYU, which played in the Maui Invitational last month, will be playing in an in-season tournament in Hawaii for the second consecutive year. The 2015 Diamond Head Classic is scheduled for December 22-24, 2015, with all games being played at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

DePaul becomes seventh team in 2014 Diamond Head Classic field

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The 2013-14 season isn’t finished for the DePaul Blue Demons, but on Wednesday the school made an official announcement in regards to its schedule for the 2014-15 campaign. DePaul will participate in the Diamond Head Classic in December, becoming the seventh team in the field.

DePaul, currently 11-18 overall and 3-13 in Big East play, joins host Hawaii, Colorado, George Washington, Nebraska, Ohio and Wichita State in the field with the eighth team to be named at a later date. The games will be played on December 22, 23 and 25, 2014.

The Blue Demons, who snapped their ten-game losing streak with a win over Seton Hall on Tuesday night, are expected to return key contributors Billy Garrett Jr. and Tommy Hamilton IV next season. Garrett, averaging 12.4 ppg and 3.2 apg, has been one of the Big East’s best freshmen and a bright spot for a program that’s once again struggling to make progress.

DeAndre Kane leads No. 14 Iowa State to Diamond Head Classic title

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Entering Wednesday’s Diamond Head Classic title game, senior guard DeAndre Kane has been one of the key contributors for No. 14 Iowa State. The Marshall transfer’s versatility makes him a tough matchup for many of the Cyclones’ opponents, with his ability as both a scorer and distributor leading to advantageous situations for he and his teammates.

If there’s been any issue for Kane it’s been his proficiency from beyond the arc, as he made just 25% of his three-pointers prior to the game against Boise State. With that in mind the Broncos sagged off of Kane in the first half, and in ball screen situations the defender went under the screen.

In the first half the results worked in favor of the Broncos, as Kane scored ten points but needed eight shots (making three) to do so. And as a team the Cyclones shot just 31.2% from the field in the first half, as they failed to convert many of the open looks they were able to create.

But Kane and his teammates adjusted in the second half, shooting 50% from the field on their way to the 70-66 victory. Kane (23 points, five rebounds) was one of four Iowa State players to finish in double figures, and the way in which Boise State attempted to defend him is something he’ll likely see more of as the season wears on. With that being the case, Kane’s 4-for-6 night from deep has the potential to be an important step forward if he can build on that.

Another area of importance for Iowa State was their work on the offensive glass, as they rebounded 38.9% of their missed shots. The last of those came with nine seconds remaining and the Cyclones leading by four, with Dustin Hogue’s effort essentially sealing the outcome. Iowa State entered the game ranked 300th in offensive rebounding percentage, so while they do have proficient rebounders (led by Hogue and Melvin Ejim) this is not an area of strength. It was against Boise State, and the 16-5 edge in second chance points was a key factor on Wednesday night.

Rebounding will be key for Iowa State in the Big 12, especially when considering the size at Baylor and Kansas. But the most important factor moving forward could end up being Kane’s ability to knock down perimeter shots, thus keeping teams honest. He was able to do so against Boise State, and the end result was a Diamond Head Classic title.