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College basketball: Notre Dame rallies to beat Wichita State for tourney championship

November 23, 2017 - 12:05am

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Martinas Geben hit two free throws with 2.3 seconds left and No. 13 Notre Dame rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat No. 6 Wichita State 67-66 in the Maui Invitational championship game on Wednesday night.

Notre Dame (5-1) trailed most of the game, but clawed its way back, by slowing the high-scoring Shockers (4-1) and working the ball inside on offense.

Notre Dame pulled within one, but Landry Shamet, having a quiet scoring night, put the Shockers up 64-61 with a running jumper with 1:24 left.

Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame’s preseason All-America, cut it back to one on a jumper in the lane. Again, Shamet answered, on a pull-up jumper in the lane and Colson airballed a 3-pointer, but scored on a layup after Matt Farrell stole the inbounds pass.

Zach Brown blocked Farrell’s layup, but the Irish got the ball on an baseline inbounds play. Geben cut to the basket and was fouled by Shaquille Morris. He hit both free throws and Wichita State fumbled away its last possession.

Colson finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds in Notre Dame’s first Maui title.

Brown led the Shockers with 14 points.

The Maui Invitational has a history of having marquee matchups in the title game and this one was no different.

Wichita State and Notre Dame were the only ranked teams in the field, a pair of programs loaded with talent, depth and Final Four aspirations.

The Irish flexed their muscles in overpowering their first two Maui opponents, crushing Division II Chaminade and LSU.

The Shockers had a little rougher ride in their opener, needing to rally from 18 down to beat California before rolling over Marquette in the semifinals.

Their meeting in the title game matched two of the nation’s most efficient offenses.

Wichita State happens to be pretty good on defense, too, and muddled things up for the Irish in the early going, denying passes, contesting perimeter shots and clogging the paint on the Irish’s drives.

The Shockers were just as good on offense, building an 11-point lead midway through the first half and going up 37-23 at halftime after making 15 of 30 shots, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range.

Notre Dame started going inside in the second half and tightened up on defense, scratching the Shockers’ lead down to 55-50.

A banked-in 3-pointer by T.J. Gibbs and a traditional one by Colson made it a three-point game with 5 minutes left.

Trailing all night, the Irish were back in it — and made the most of it.

Third place game

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Andrew Rowsey scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half and Marquette pulled away for a 94-84 victory over LSU in the third-place game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.

Marquette (3-2) had trouble getting Rowsey or Markus Howard open looks in the first half, but Sam Hauser picked up the slack, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Golden Eagles built a big early lead behind Hauser, watched the Tigers rally by halftime and started stretching the lead back behind Rowsey, who hit all 16 of his free-throw attempts.

Marquette shot 58 percent, made 11 of 24 from 3-point range and 31 of 35 free throws to leave Maui 2-1.

Freshman Tremont Waters kept LSU (3-2) in it almost singlehandedly, scoring 39 points on 13-of-22 shooting while dishing out four assists.

Earlier this week, LSU outlasted Michigan for a two-point victory before getting run out of the tiny Lahaina Civic Center by No. 13 Notre Dame in the semifinals.

Marquette rolled over VCU in its opener behind Rowsey and Howard, who combined for 42 points. They combined for 51 points against No. 6 Wichita State, but the Shockers were too good at both ends in an 80-66 win in the semifinals.

With LSU keying on those two in the third-place game, Hauser took over.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore repeatedly slipped into gaps in LSU’s defense and his teammates found him. Hauser hit five straight shots — four 3s — to open the game and had 15 points in the first 6 minutes.

A hot Hauser sparked Marquette’s offense, leading the Golden Eagles to a 13-point lead midway through the first half.

Waters brought the Tigers back, confidently stroking in 3-pointers and driving to the basket. LSU’s freshman point guard had 22 points by halftime, hitting 4 of 6 from the 3-point arc to pull within 46-44.

Marquette maintained a small cushion through the first part of the second half and started to run away with it with about 8 minutes left. The Golden Eagles closed in around the Tigers on defense and went on an 11-0 run to go up 75-61.

Rowsey, quiet to that point, hit a 3-pointer during the run and later hit three free throws after getting yet another defender to bite on an up-fake shooting a 3. He added a long 3-pointer over the long arm of Duop Reath to put the Golden Eagles up 15, staring down LSU’s 6-foot-11 forward as they ran back.

LSU cut the lead to 83-76 with 2 minutes left, but could not get closer.

Fifth place game

AHAINA, Hawaii — Moritz Wagner scored six points during Michigan’s closing 11-0 run, helping the Wolverines beat VCU 68-60 on Wednesday for fifth place in the Maui Invitational.

The Rams and Wolverines already had one tight game in Maui and they were in close duel for fifth after a series of runs by both teams.

Michigan (5-1) had the final one, keyed by Wagner’s three-point play with 1:11 left and 3-pointer from the wing with 13 seconds remaining.

Duncan Robinson led the Wolverines with 18 points, and Wagner finished with 12 and nine rebounds.

Khris Lane led VCU (3-3) with 13 points. De’Riante Jenkins and Mike’l Simms added 12 each.

VCU was unable to make plays down the stretch in an opening loss to Marquette before bouncing back with a lopsided victory over Cal.

Like the Rams, the Wolverines felt like they let a victory slip through their grasp in its first-game loss to LSU and followed with a runaway victory over Division II Chaminade.

VCU and Michigan had a tight game, neither team able to gain much separation in the first half. Michigan led 36-30 behind Robinson’s 10 points.

The Wolverines were able to stretch the lead to 10 with a 7-0 run early in the second half.

Then VCU’s press started giving Michigan problems; not always resulting in turnovers, just disrupting its offensive flow. The Rams held the Wolverines scoreless for nearly five minutes and used a 13-2 run to go up 53-49.

Michigan took its turn to go running, scoring eight straight points to go up 57-53, but VCU scored seven straight, only to allow the Wolverines to answer with one final push.

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