FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2014
The 2014 CBE Hall of Fame Classic, continued with games at two locations. First, the headline matchups of the Classic began at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO as the semifinal games were played, while the first of three consecutive nights of Sub-Host Round doubleheaders tipped off at the Athletics Center O’rena in Rochester, MI hosted by Oakland University.
In the first of two semifinal matches at Sprint Center, Maryland took advantage of a strong inside presence and outscored Arizona State 42-20 in the paint and outrebounded the Sun Devils by ten on their way to a hard-fought 78-73 victory. Arizona State that got out to the quick early lead running off seven unanswered points in the first 3:30. They were able to hold that lead for a good portion of the period leading by six with 7:49 remaining after senior guard Jon Gilling drained a three-pointer. Maryland responded to keep Arizona State from taking a commanding lead by going on a 6-0 run to tie the game over the next 1:47. Arizona State was able to settle themselves and took a two-point lead in to the locker room, 39-37. While the Sun Devils shot 56.5% in the half, the Terrapins were able to overcome that by scoring ten points off of nine Arizona State turnovers in the half.
The second half was a back and forth battle that saw five ties and nine lead changes in the final 20 minutes of play. With 1:36 left to play, Arizona State junior center Eric Jacobsen scored a layup to put the Sun Devils up by two, 73-71. Maryland scored the last seven points of the game to come back and win by five. The Terrapins efforts inside were rewarded as they held a 21-13 rebounding edge, led the second chance point category 11-0 for the period, and scored 14 more points in the paint than the Sun Devils.
Maryland (4-0) got an outstanding performance from freshman guard Melo Trimble who led all scorers with 31 points. Junior forward Jake Layman scored 12 points while senior guard Dez Wells dropped in 14 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds to aid the Terrapin effort. Arizona State (3-1) was led in scoring by senior forward Jon Gilling, who had 21 points off the bench, and senior Bo Barnes also came off the bench to score the other 17 of the 38 bench points scored by the Sun Devils. Starting junior guard Gerry Blakes and Jacobsen each contributed 14 points as well.
In the second semifinal match at Sprint Center, 13th ranked Iowa State shot an impressive 58% from the field while holding Alabama to 38.6% shooting as they won the nightcap 84-74. ISU was helped by a partisan Cyclone crowd who had made the relatively short trip down from Ames to Kansas City. The Crimson Tide battled the Cyclones closely for most of the first half before a 15-4 run turned a slim two-point Cyclone advantage into a daunting 13-point lead, 41-28 with 3:26 to go in the half. But the Tide was up to the challenge as they fought back and closed the half on a 9-2 run and closed the deficit to six as they went to the break down, 43-37.
Coming out of the break, Alabama continued its comeback as it took advantage of ISU turnovers. The Tide scored five points on two Cyclone turnovers in the first two minutes of the second half which helped continue the momentum they had begun to end the first stanza. By the time senior guard Rodney Cooper drained a three with 14:31 remaining, Alabama had completed a 23-9 run to take a one-point lead, 51-50. Iowa State was able to open up a two-possession lead for most of the next 12 minutes, until Cooper again hit a big three-pointer and cut the Cyclone lead to three with 2:20 remaining. That basket would prove to be the Sun Devils last field goal, and Iowa State was able to pull away and take the ten-point victory. If Alabama wasn’t able to force ten Cyclone turnover and convert on 13 of those mistakes, the outcome might have been even larger.
Iowa State (3-0) got another dependable performance from junior forward Georges Niang who led all scorers with 28 points. Senior Dustin Hogue, junior guard Naz Long, and sophomore reserve guard Matt Thomas all scored in double figures contributing 17, 15, and 13, respectively. Alabama (3-1) had a strong showing by Cooper, who had 27 points, while senior guard Levi Randolph chipped in with 18 points of his own.
Georgia State capitalized on poor shooting and turnovers by Chicago State as they won the first of two games hosted by Oakland University in Rochester, MI by the score of 69-46. The Cougars shot 29.2% for the game and turned the ball over 23 times leading to 24 points by Georgia State. The Panthers never trailed in the game and had a lead of as much as 29 before coasting to the 23-point victory.
Georgia State (2-2) was led in scoring by senior guard Ryan Harrow with a game-high 23 points. Junior guard R.J. Hunter and senior forward Curtis Washington added 13 and 11, respectively. Freshman guard Anthony Glover came off the bench to score 16 points and lead Chicago State (2-3) while senior guard Clarke Rosenberg added 14.
The home crowd was treated to ten minutes of free basketball but ultimately left disappointed as Western Carolina won the second game of the doubleheader at Athletics Center O’rena 88-79 in double overtime. The game tied for the longest in CBE Hall of Fame Classic history as Towson and Morgan State also went two overtimes on November 16, 2004.
It was a tale of two halves during regulation as Western Carolina shot 69.6%, including 7-10 from behind the arc, to take a 12-point at the half. In the second half, it was Oakland who heated up shooting 60% in the period while WCU went cold shooting 27.6%. It still took almost 16 minutes for the Golden Grizzlies to catch the Catamounts.
WCU held a four-point lead after junior guard Rhett Harrelson drained a three-pointer with 34 seconds remaining. Oakland put together a wild sequence in the closing seconds to enliven the O’rena crowd. Junior guard Max Hooper was fouled with 25 seconds left went to the line to shoot two. After making the first, he missed the second and sophomore guard Kahlil Felder grabbed the rebound with the Grizzlies down three. With 18 seconds left, senior center Corey Petros got a pass from junior Tommie McCune, scored the layup, and got fouled. Petros converted the free throw and tied the game at 64-64.
In the first overtime, Western Carolina again took out to an early lead, but Oakland continued to answer tying the game three times in the period, the last time on a three-pointer by Felder with 15 seconds left. It was the only field goal by the Grizziies in the period. Unfortunately for Oakland, their shooting was no better in the second overtime period as they went one-for-eight from the field, and the Catamounts closed out the nine-point win.
Western Carolina (2-2) had a pair of 20-point scorers in Harrelson and senior guard James Sinclair. Junior forward Torrion Brummitt registered a double-double scoring 16 and pulling down ten boards. Oakland (0-4) got a game-high 26 points from Felder while Petros added 14.
About the CBE Hall of Fame Classic
The CBE Hall of Fame Classic is named after the College Basketball Experience, the award-winning and highly interactive college basketball fan facility adjacent to Sprint Center, which also features the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Opened in October 2007, the College Basketball Experience is the nation's only facility that celebrates, in its entirety, the sport of men's collegiate basketball. The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame hosts an Induction Celebration on the Sunday before the tournament, celebrating Hall of Fame collegiate careers. The tournament, in partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), was initially established in 2001 as the Guardians Classic.
Founded in 1927, the NABC, since its inception, has acted as a guardian of the game of basketball by furthering the best interests of the game as well as the players and coaches who participate. The NABC engages in many efforts to enhance the college basketball experience for players, coaches and fans.
To find out more, visit: www.cbehalloffameclassic.com and follow us on Twitter @CBEHOFClassic.
Liz Woerth, Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc.