Arizona’s top-ranked Wildcats, paced by Sean Elliott with 31 points, played invincible hosts in defeating No. 9-ranked Duke, 91-85, Wednesday night to win their third Fiesta Bowl tournament at Tucson.
Elliott, named the tournament’s most valuable player, and Tom Tolbert, who had 19 points, held off Duke’s furious comeback bid in the final 1:50 by hitting 9 of 10 free throws.
Elliott made five and Tolbert the other four.
Duke threw in three three-pointers in the last 46 seconds, one each by Danny Ferry, Quin Snyder and Greg Koubek, to pull within four points, 89-85.
Arizona (12-0) led from the start, and twice by as many as 15 points in the second half, but Ferry’s short jumper brought the Blue Devils (6-1) within 7 points, 86-79, with 36 seconds remaining.
After Koubek’s three-pointer with 11 seconds to go, Arizona ran the clock down before Elliott scored on a slam dunk at the buzzer.
Ferry and Kevin Strickland led the Blue Devils with 25 points apiece.
The championship lived up to its billing, with both previously undefeated teams demonstrating the defensive prowess that has marked their early-season successes.
Duke used a man-to-man defense throughout, while Arizona alternated between that and a zone to attack the Blue Devils’ quickness.
In the consolation game, eighth-ranked Florida rode Vernon Maxwell’s 22-point scoring effort to an 83-59 victory over Michigan State. Gators’ Coach Norm Sloan called it a tough one to play after Duke had routed his team Tuesday, 93-70.
St. John’s 70, Kansas 56--Shelton Jones scored 17 points, and Matt Brust had 14 as St. John’s won its fourth consecutive ECAC Holiday Festival championship at New York.
Jones, who was named tournament most valuable player, and Brust were the keys in a run by the Redmen at the start of the second half that turned a two-point deficit into a lead they never lost.
Kansas, which had a seven-game winning streak snapped, led 31-29 at halftime, but the Redmen (8-1) avenged their only defeat of the season by going on a 13-2 tear at the start of the half. In that run, Brust scored five points and Jones four for a nine-point lead with 15:19 remaining.
After Brust’s three-point play gave the Redmen a 40-33 lead with 16:24 to play, St. John’s only made three field goals over the next 10:24. All of those were by sophomore Elander Lewis, who did not play in Monday’s opening round or in the first half of the championship game.
During that 10:24 span, the Redmen, who now have won this tournament 10 times overall, made 10-of-15 free-throw attempts to take a 59-48 lead with 6:00 to play.
Danny Manning led Kansas (8-3) with 24 points.
No. 19 Memphis State beat Marist, 75-57, in the consolation game as Dwight Boyd scored 24 points and Rodney Douglas added 18. Memphis State is 7-2; Marist is 4-3.
Oklahoma 107, Illinois State 56--Harvey Grant scored 30 points to lead 10th-ranked Oklahoma to victory in the championship game of the All-College Tournament at Oklahoma City.
Grant, the tournament’s most valuable player, scored 16 of Oklahoma’s 21 points during a seven-minute stretch in the second half. He had scored 40 Tuesday night in a 144-93 first-round victory over Oral Roberts University.
Oklahoma, from the Big Eight, ran its record to 12-0, while Illinois State--an upset winner over No. 14 Iowa in the first round--dropped to 5-5.
The Sooners, who lead the nation with a 115-point scoring average, used a 25-7 spurt in the first half to break the game open on their way to a 47-24 halftime lead.
In the third-place game, Jeff Moe scored 29 points and Iowa (8-3) broke open a close game by scoring the first 18 points of the second half as the Hawkeyes beat Oral Roberts, 126-94.
Wyoming 100, Cincinnati 73--Cincinnati Coach Tony Yates says he can understand why Wyoming is ranked fifth in the nation.
“They are a pretty good basketball team,” Yates said after his Bearcats fell victim to the Cowboys in the first Mile High tournament at Denver.
“They’ve got quickness, speed, a lot of firepower inside and great individual talent,” Yates said. “We’re a young team and they just devastated us.”
Reggie Fox scored a career-high 26 points to pace the Cowboys to their 10th straight victory.
Wyoming, equaling the 10-0 start of its 1945-46 team, also got 23 points from Fennis Dembo in handing Cincinnati its fourth loss in seven games.
Santa Clara 91, Seton Hall 75--Jeffty Connelly scored 18 points, and Chris Lane added 15 as Santa Clara defeated Seton Hall to win the Cable Car tournament at Santa Clara
Connelly scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half. Santa Clara (7-4) led Seton Hall 41-34 at halftAime and never looked back. Seton Hall is now 11-3.
Georgia Tech 83, Auburn 72--Duane Ferrell scored 25 points, including four in the last minute, as Georgia Tech broke open a tight game to win the Cotton States tournament at Atlanta.
Chris Morris, who had a game-high 28 points, hit a three-point jump shot to pull Auburn within three at 75-72 with 1:25 remaining. After a Georgia Tech turnover, Auburn had a chance to come within one when Terrance Howard got loose on a fast break. But Craig Neal caught him and blocked his attempted layup.
Georgia Tech (8-2) went on to score the game’s final 8 points--with 6, including Ferrell’s 4, coming at the free throw line.
Auburn (7-2) got 25 points from tournament most valuable player Jeff Moore, who sat out the last five minutes after suffering a broken hand.
Bradley 97, Dayton 80--Hersey Hawkins, the nation’s leading scorer with a 41-point average, broke loose for 36 points after being held to five in the first half by Dayton as Bradley rallied at Dayton.
Hawkins hit 31 points in the second half while making six assists. He hit 6-of-9 three-point attempts and hit all eight free throws.
Bradley is 6-1; Dayton, which led by four at halftime, is 7-4.
Purdue 110, Miami, Fla. 82--Todd Mitchell scored 26 points as 11th-ranked Purdue tied a school record for points in a half on the way to winning the Palm Beach tournament at West Palm Beach, Fla.
Purdue, 10-1 and winner of nine in a row, scored frequently off the fast break and had a 31-11 rebounding advantage to take its biggest lead of the game, 66-31, at halftime. The Boilermakers also scored 66 points in the first half in a game against Iowa in 1971.
Purdue’s final total was its highest since a 111-110 double-overtime victory over Minnesota in 1976.
Miami Coach Bill Foster used 11 players in the first half against Purdue, trying to find an effective combination. Miami (6-4) played without leading scorer Dennis Brown for the last nine minutes and 7-foot-1 Tito Horford for the last eight minutes of the first half after both picked up three fouls.
North Carolina 115, Nevada Reno 91--In what amounted to a tuneup for UCLA, sophomore Scott Williams scored a career-high 25 points to lead fourth-ranked North Carolina to victory at Reno.
The Tar Heels (8-1) took control with a 14-4 outburst midway through the first half. North Carolina plays UCLA at Pauley Pavilion Saturday.
J.R. Reid scored four points in that 3 1/2 minute spurt, giving North Carolina a 31-19 lead with 10:16 remaining in the half.
After Nevada-Reno (5-4) pulled to within eight points, the Tar Heels went on a 20-6 spurt for a 53-31 lead. Kevin Madden and Ranzino Smith each scored six points during the spurt.
Notre Dame 64, St. Bonaventure 49--Sophomore forward Keith Robinson had 15 points, and three other Notre Dame players scored in double figures to lead the Irish to their sixth win in eight games at Buffalo, N.Y.
Notre Dame guard David Rivers and senior center Gary Voce had 13 points each and junior guard Mark Stevenson had 12 points for the Irish. St. Bonaventure is 5-3.