The Latest: Evans, VCU beat Temple 57-51 in Legends Classic
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the Legends Classic (all times local):
Marcus Evans scored nine of his 21 points in the final four minutes to help VCU beat Temple 57-51 on Monday night in the opening round of the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.
VCU, which squandered a 17-point first-half lead before rallying down the stretch, will play St. John’s in the championship game Tuesday.
Ernest Aflakpui made 1 of 2 free throws to give Temple (4-1) its biggest lead of the game at 48-44 with five minutes to go. VCU, however, scored 13 of the final 17 points — including nine by Evans — as the Owls went 1 for 10 from the field and 2 for 6 from the free-throw line over the final 6½ minutes.
Nate Pierre-Louis had 11 points, eight rebounds and a career-high six steals for Temple. Quinton Rose had eight points on 4-of-15 shooting and Shizz Alston Jr. made 2 of 14 from the field and finished with six points. That duo came in averaging a combined 40.5 points per game.
VCU scored the first 11 points and led 21-4 midway through the first half. Temple missed 12 of its first 14 field-goal attempts, including all five 3-point shots, and committed four turnovers in the first 9½ minutes.
Shamorie Ponds had 16 of his season-high 32 points in the final seven minutes to help St. John’s beat California 82-79 on Monday night in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.
Ponds made 11 of 15 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and 7 of 7 from the free-throw line — including six in the final 2½ minutes. It’s the 6-foot-1 junior’s seventh career game scoring at least 30 points.
Ponds scored the first seven points during an 11-3 run that gave St. John’s a 69-68 lead with 3:52 left. LJ Figueroa made two free throws and then, after a steal by Ponds, chased down two offensive rebounds before his putback capped the stretch. Juhwan Harris-Dyson’s layup trimmed Cal’s deficit to 75-74 with 1:28 left but Ponds answered with a 3 and, after Justice Sueing hit a jumper, Ponds made two foul shots to make it 80-76 with 19 seconds left.
Darius McNeill tied his career high with five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points for Cal (1-2).