Oumar Ballo had a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead four Arizona players who finished in double figures as the 14th-ranked Wildcats beat No. 10 Creighton 81-79 in the final of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Wednesday.
Ballo shot 14-for-17 from the field, while Kerr Kriisa added 13 points, nine assists and three rebounds for the Wildcats (6-0). Arizona also won the tournament in 2014 and 2000.
The Bluejays (6-1), who trailed by 14 with 12:19 remaining, had a chance to tie the game after calling a timeout with 7.4 seconds remaining. But Ryan Nembhard was fouled with two seconds left, sending him to the foul line. After making the first free throw, Nembhard intentionally missed his second attempt, but Arizona grabbed the rebound.
Creighton was led by Nembhard’s 20 points and six assists, while Ryan Kalkbrenner added 16 points and five rebounds.
No. 3 Kansas 80, North Carolina State 74
Gradey Dick scored 25 points as the Jayhawks marked the return of coach Bill Self with a victory against the Wolfpack in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Kansas (5-0) will take on Wisconsin in a Thursday semifinal after the Badgers beat Dayton 43-42. North Carolina State (4-1) will meet the Flyers in the consolation bracket.
Self was assessed a four-game suspension from the university stemming from an NCAA investigation in 2017. Assistant coach Kurtis Townsend also received a four-game ban and returned to the bench on Wednesday. Jalen Wilson collected 19 points and 11 rebounds for Kansas. Casey Morsell scored 21 points for North Carolina State.
No. 7 Baylor 89, McNeese State 60
Keyonte George scored 17 points and LJ Cryer added 16 as the host Bears overcame some early doldrums and rolled to a win over the Cowboys in Waco, Texas.
Adam Flagler scored 13 points and Langston Love had 11 for the Bears (5-1), who outshot the Cowboys 60 percent to 32.1 percent in the second half.
Zach Scott and Johnathan Massie had 12 points each and Christian Shumate grabbed 10 rebounds to lead McNeese State (2-4).
No. 9 Arkansas 78, No. 17 San Diego State 74 (OT)
Trevon Bazile scored 20 points and the Razorbacks forced overtime with a buzzer-beating basket then held off the Aztecs to claim third place in the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Ricky Council IV added 19 points and Anthony Black scored 15 for the Razorbacks (5-1).
Matt Bradley scored 23 points, Darrion Trammell added 13 and Keshad Johnson scored 10 to lead the Aztecs (4-2).
No. 11 Indiana 87, Little Rock 68
Race Thompson returned from a minor injury and scored 20 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Hoosiers to a win over the Trojans in the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind.
The Hoosiers (5-0) used a 10-point run in the second half to break open a 64-57 game. Jalen Hood-Schifino recorded 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists. The Hoosiers played without star Trayce Jackson-Davis, who was held out for precautionary reasons and was on the bench in civilian clothes.
Little Rock (2-4) got a team-high 20 points from D.J. Smith. Myron Gardner had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists. DeAntoni Gordon added 11 points.
No. 13 Auburn 43, Northwestern 42
In a defensive battle, the Tigers edged the Wildcats to win the Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mexico.
With the Wildcats ahead 42-41, the Tigers’ Wendell Green Jr. made a steal and Allen Flanigan gave Auburn a 43-42 lead on a layup with 32 seconds to go in the second half. Northwestern had a last chance, but Chase Audige missed the potential game-winner with 13 seconds to play.
K.D. Johnson paced Auburn (6-0) with 12 points. Audige led the Wildcats (5-1) with 10 points.
No. 15 Kentucky 96, North Florida 56
Jacob Toppin collected 20 points and 10 rebounds and Antonio Reeves also scored 20 points as the Wildcats pummeled the Ospreys in Lexington, Ky.
Reigning NCAA Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe had 16 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks for Kentucky. Chris Livingston contributed nine points off the bench and Cason Wallace added eight as the Wildcats (4-2) bounced back from a high-profile 88-72 loss to No. 2 Gonzaga on Sunday.
Jarius Hicklen scored 17 points and Jonathan Aybar added eight off the bench for North Florida, which has lost two in a row. Carter Hendricksen, a former Lexington Christian Academy standout and Mount Sterling (Ky.) native, finished with seven points.
No. 19 UCLA 100, Pepperdine 53
After dropping back-to-back games against Top 25 opponents in Las Vegas last weekend, the Bruins took out their frustrations on the Waves in Los Angeles.
The Bruins (4-2) slipped up against both Illinois and Baylor, but they were back to their top level against Pepperdine. Six UCLA scorers finished in double figures, led by Amari Bailey’s career-high 19 points.
The Waves (4-2) shot just 21 of 60 from the floor and committed 17 turnovers under heavy duress from the Bruins defense. Houston Mallette and Jan Zidek each scored 13 points to lead Pepperdine.
Ohio State 80, No. 21 Texas Tech 73
Honolulu native Justice Sueing scored a career-high 33 points as the Buckeyes defeated the Red Raiders in the fifth-place game at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Sueing scored 15 consecutive points, punctuated by a dunk on a breakaway, for the Buckeyes (5-1) to give them a 74-67 lead with 1:04 left. He also had eight rebounds and five assists. Sean McNeil scored 13 and Brice Sensabaugh added 10 for Ohio State.
Daniel Batcho had 21 points and Kevin Obanor 19 for the Red Raiders (4-2).
No. 22 Tennessee 71, Butler 45
Santiago Vescovi had 13 points, three rebounds and three assists to help the Volunteers pull away in the second half to defeat the Bulldogs in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Vescovi and Julian Phillips, who had 11 points and six rebounds, highlighted a balanced effort on the scoresheet for the Volunteers (3-1), who advance to play USC in the tournament semifinals on Thursday afternoon. Butler (3-2) will take on BYU in the consolation bracket on Thursday night.
Jayden Taylor led the Bulldogs with 18 points but was their only player who scored in double figures.
–Field Level Media