Winston Bennett scored a career-high 28 points Friday night to help top-ranked Kentucky pull away from Miami of Ohio in the final minutes for an 85-71 victory in the first round of the Kentucky Invitational at Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky (5-0) will meet North Carolina Charlotte (6-0) in the title game tonight. Charlotte defeated Middle Tennessee, 78-63, as Dan Plonke scored 21 points.
Miami (2-5) trailed by just 65-62 with nine minutes remaining but the Redskins missed an open layup and turned the ball over on four of their next six possessions.
Miami took a pair of five-point leads in the first half behind the outside shooting of Todd Staker and Eddie Schilling. Kentucky led, 41-37, at halftime.
Rob Lock finished with 17 points, Rex Chapman 13, Ed Davender 11 and Eric Manuel 10 for the Wildcats.
Schilling and Lamont Hanna led Miami with 15 points apiece.
DePaul 89, Washington 73--Rod Strickland scored 25 points, and Kevin Edwards added 18 at Seattle as the Blue Demons scored their seventh straight win after an opening loss to Pepperdine.
Washington (3-3) was led by Mike Hayward with 20 points.
Ray Meyer, who coached DePaul to 724 victories, celebrated his 74th birthday, watching son Joey Meyer, 38, coach the Blue Demons to victory.
Old Dominion 74, Virginia 72--Garrick Davis hit a six-foot bank shot with one second left, and the Monarchs (5-0) stayed unbeaten by overcoming the Cavaliers (4-3) in the first round of the Times-Dispatch Invitational at Richmond, Va.
In tonight's final, Old Dominion will meet Richmond (5-1), which scored a 60-58 win over Virginia Commonwealth (5-2) on a 27-foot three-point shot by Ken Atkinson at the buzzer.
California 89, Drexel 74--Hartmut Ortmann scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Bears (3-2) turned back the Dragons (4-1) at Berkeley.
Villanova 83, La Salle 80--Tom Greis scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half and hit two free throws with 21 seconds left as the Wildcats (6-2) edged the Explorers (5-2) in the Jostens tournament at Philadelphia.
Villanova will meet Wake Forest (3-2), which scored an 82-72 win over Canisius (0-5). Sam Ivy scored a career-high 34 points for Wake Forest, hitting 16 of 22 shots.
Arizona State 89, Southern Utah State 74--Arthur Thomas scored 24 points, and Eric Holloway added 21 for the Sun Devils (4-2) who rallied after trailing at halftime, 37-34, against the Division II Thunderbirds (4-5) at Tempe, Ariz.
Pacific 78, Texas A&M; 77--Christian Gray scored at the buzzer, and Domingo Rosario had 19 points for the Tigers as they overcame the Aggies in overtime in the Camellia tournament at Sacramento.