FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2015
The 2015 CBE Hall of Fame Classic, opened play tonight for the 15th year with two matchups at host schools sites. The CBE Hall of Fame Classic includes 8 teams and 16 games over 15 days at nine different venues which will conclude with a champion being crowned on November 24th at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.
In the first game to tip off, the Kansas State Wildcats played host to the Maryland – Eastern Shore Hawks at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, KS The game began as a closely contested battle, but Kansas State took control in the middle of the first half and controlled play throughout the second half to emerge with an 80-53 victory.
The score was tight early as the teams exchanged the lead or were tied three times in the first 5 minutes, and UMES held a 9-8 lead at the 15:00 mark. Kansas State then took advantage of a turnover by the Hawks when senior guard Justin Edwards scored on a jumper with 14:28 left in the half giving the Wildcats the lead which they would never relinquish. K-State took control and stretched its lead to 14 at the half and as much as 30 in the second period.
Turnovers were the big difference in this contest as the Hawks (0-1) turned the ball over 22 times and the Wildcats (1-0) were able to convert those into 22 points as the coasted to a 27-point win.
Kansas State junior forward Wesley Iwundu led all scorers and rebounders with 23 points and ten boards. The Iwundu got help from 17 points by Edwards and from freshman guard Barry Brown who came off the bench to score 17 points in his collegiate debut. UMES was led in scoring by senior guard Devin Martin who tallied 18 points while junior guard Bakari Copeland led the team with eight boards and chipped in with 14 points.
In Columbia, MO, Missouri took on Wofford in front of a home crowd at Mizzou Arena. While Wofford held a lead early, the Tigers turned in a strong shooting performance and won their season opener, 83-74.
Although they shot the ball well for the game, the Tigers did not begin the contest that way missing their first four shots. Wofford took advantage of it and held leads of 5-0 and 8-2 after a three-point bucket by freshman guard Fletcher Magee at the 15:32 mark in the first half. But MU found their touch and scored on four of their next 5 shots, going on a 9-0 run over the next 2:23. After a steal and layup by freshman guard KJ Walton at the 8:48 mark in the first half, the Tigers had finished a 20-2 run and led by 12. Another 8-2 run by the Terriers closed the gap to six, but Mizzou (1-0) scored on its next two possessions, stretched its lead into double figures, and took a 39-29 lead into the locker room.
An early second half run by Wofford cut the Tiger lead to five with 13:38 remaining, but Missouri again regained composure and pushed its lead out to 15 with 4:39 to play. The Terriers would not go away however and mounted a 15-6 run over the next 3:37, and after another three pointer by Fletcher, his fifth of the evening, Wofford trailed by only 6 with 1:02 left. The Tigers secured the 9-point win going 8-for-10 from the free throw line in the final minute.
In the end, Wofford (0-1) attempted 27 three point shots, making ten of them, and ended up shooting 38.2% on the night, while the Tigers looked to score inside and shot 56.0% for the game and held a 34-14 advantage points in the paint.
All ten of the Missouri players that saw the floor scored. The Tigers were led in scoring by freshman forward Kevin Puryear, who scored 2 points in his collegiate debut. Sophomore guard Namon Wright grabbed a game-high seven rebounds while also kncking in 18 points off the bench. Wofford’s Fletcher led all scorers with 22 points off the bench in his collegiate debut. The Terries had three others double-figure scorers as senior forward Justin Gordon scored 19, junior guard Eric Garcia scored 14, and senior guard Spencer Collins chipped in with ten points.
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 Friday 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.
The CBE Hall of Fame Classic is produced by Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc., www.blueridgesports.com. Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc. is a sports management firm based in the Shenandoah Valley city of Winchester, Virginia.
To find out more, visit: www.cbehalloffameclassic.com and follow us on Twitter @CBEHOFClassic.
Liz Woerth, Blue Ridge Sports & Entertainment, Inc.