A.J. Hoggard hit the go-ahead free throws with 30.3 seconds left and Michigan State scored the game’s final nine points to push past No. 22 Connecticut 64-60 in Thursday’s Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Gabe Brown scored 16 points for the Spartans (5-1), who blew a 14-point lead before halftime and shot just 32% after the break. But Michigan State did enough to take back momentum after the Huskies had gone up 60-55 with 1:41 left and finally secure a spot in Friday’s championship game.
Adama Sonogo had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Huskies (5-1), while Tyrese Martin added 16 points and 12 boards despite being uncertain to play because of a sprained left wrist suffered in the Auburn win.
(6) Baylor 69, VCU 61: Matthew Mayer scored 15 points to help Baylor hold off VCU in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Freshman Kendall Brown added 14 points for the reigning national champion Bears (6-0), who had to clean up a mistake-filled first half and keep the Rams at arm’s distance throughout the second half.
Vince Williams scored 17 points to lead VCU (3-3), while Levi Stockard had 13 points. The Rams shot 48% after halftime to hang around, frequently within two possessions, but they couldn’t quite overtake Baylor.
Iona 72, (10) Alabama 68: Nelly Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. made key free throws in the final seconds to lift Iona over Alabama in an opening-round game at the ESPN Events Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Clayton got an offensive rebound and made one of two free throws to make it 70-68 with 20 seconds left. After Jahvon Quinerly missed a shot for Alabama, Joseph secured the win with two free throws with 9 seconds remaining,
Tyson Jolly had 13 points, Elijah Joiner 12 and Quinn Slazinski 11 for Iona (6-0)
Alabama (4-1) got 19 points from Jaden Shackelford. Quinerly added 15.
(4) Kansas 71, North Texas 59: Ochai Agbaji had 18 points and Christian Braun added 16 as Kansas beat North Texas in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Agbaji became the 63rd player to reach 1,000 points in Kansas history when he hit a 3 to open the scoring 2½ minutes into the game. The guard entered the game just one point away from the milestone.
Kansas (4-0) also got 15 points from Remy Martin.
North Texas (2-2) got 23 points from Tylor Perry. All other scorers for the Mean Green were held to single digits, including Thomas Bell, who picked up his fifth foul midway through the second half and finished with nine points.
(19) Auburn 62, Loyola Chicago 53: Freshman Jabari Smith had 14 points to help Auburn regroup from a double-overtime loss and beat Loyola Chicago in the consolation round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The Tigers (4-1) held the Ramblers to just two field goals over an 11-minute span in the second half, building a 10-point margin heading into the final minutes.
Walker Kessler added 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the Tigers.
Marquise Kennedy scored 13 points to lead the Ramblers (4-2), who shot 62% in the first half.