The Latest: Valparaiso never trails, beats Monmouth 64-53
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the Myrtle Beach Invitational (all times local):
Freshman Charles Bassey had 13 points and a season-high 15 rebounds and Desean Murray’s dunk with 63 seconds left gave Western Kentucky the lead for good as the Hilltoppers beat West Virginia 63-57 on Friday night in the semifinals of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Western Kentucky (3-1), which has won three in a row after a season-opening loss at then-No. 25 Washington, will play UCF in the championship game Sunday.
There were five lead changes and five ties in the second half, the last of which was broken when Murray took a pass from Josh Anderson on the left block and threw down a two-handed dunk that made it 59-57. West Virginia went 0 for 2 from the field with a turnover in the final minute, while Jared Savage and Murray each made to foul shots to seal it.
Taveion Hollingsworth had 13 points, Anderson scored 12 and Savage 11 for WKU. Murray, who was called for two fouls early in each half, finished with five points, on 1-of-3 shooting, and four rebounds in 16 minutes.
Esa Ahmad led the Mountaineers (1-2) with 12 points and James Bolden scored 10.
The Hilltoppers outscored WVU 27-15 from the free-throw line.
Deion Lavender scored 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting to help Valparaiso beat Monmouth 64-53 on Friday night in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Lavender also had eight rebounds and five assists. Ryan Fazekas added 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and Javon Freeman scored 12 for Valpo (2-1).
Freeman, Fazekas and Markus Golder each hit a 3-pointer during 12-2 run that was capped by Lavender’s layup and made it 18-8 midway through the first half. Deion Hammond hit a 3-pointer that trimmed Monmouth’s deficit to seven points with 5:20 to go but Fazekas answered with a 3 and Derrik Smits and Fazekas made back-to-back jumpers before Golder added a 3-pointer that made it 61-44 with less than three minutes remaining.
Mustapha Traore led Monmouth (0-5) with 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting. The rest of the Hawks shot just 30 percent (14 of 46) from the field.
Terrell Allen was 8-of-11 shooting, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and finished with 22 points to help UCF beat Saint Joseph’s 77-57 on Friday in the semifinals of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Allen’s final 3-pointer capped a 10-0 run that made it 32-22 with four minutes left in the first half and UCF (3-1) led the rest of the way. Aubrey Dawkins made a layup with 16:52 to play pushed the lead into double figures for good and B.J. Taylor’s jumper capped a 12-1 spurt that gave the Knights their biggest lead at 68-45 with 10:32 remaining.
Charlie Brown had 28 points and Taylor Funk scored 16 for Saint Joseph’s (3-1). They combined to make 16 of 28 (57 percent) from the field, including 8 of 13 from behind the arc. The rest of the Hawks shot 18.5 percent (5 of 27) overall and made just 1-of-12 3-pointers.
UCF shot 55 percent from the field, including 10 of 23 from 3-point range, and outrebounded Saint Joseph’s 40-25.
Freshman Jaylen Hoard and Brandon Childress each scored 15 points and Wake Forest beat Cal State Fullerton 66-59 on Friday in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Hoard also had seven rebounds and two blocks, and Childress made three of the Demon Deacons’ six 3-pointers.
Cal State Fullerton had a 25-24 lead at halftime, but Wake Forest opened the second half with a 3-pointer and back-to-back 3-point plays for a 33-31 lead. It was tied at 51 with just under five minutes remaining when Wake Forest took control with a 10-0 run as Cal State Fullerton went without a field goal for three minutes. Wake Forest sealed it by making 5 of 8 free throws in the final minute.
Sharone Wright Jr. added 13 points for Wake Forest (2-1), which will play in the fifth-place game on Sunday.
Khalil Ahmad led Cal State Fullerton (1-3) with 20 points. Kyle Allman Jr. added 11 points with eight assists, and Davon Clare had 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Myrtle Beach Invitational resumes Friday with four games, including two to determine who will play for the championship.
St. Joseph’s and UCF will meet in an afternoon semifinal. The winner of that game will advance to Sunday’s championship round to face the winner of the Friday night semifinal between West Virginia and Western Kentucky.
The consolation bracket also has two games featuring Thursday’s four losing teams from the first round. The first game is between Wake Forest and Cal State Fullerton, while Valparaiso and Monmouth meet in the evening.
Tournament teams are off Saturday.
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