Freshman Braxton Beverly scored a season-high 20 points and sparked the decisive late run that helped North Carolina State upset No. 2 Arizona 90-84 in Wednesday’s first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Allerik Freeman scored 24 points to lead the Wolfpack (5-0). But it was Beverly — who missed the first two games in an NCAA eligibility dispute tied to his attending summer courses at Ohio State before coming to N.C. State — who led the way in the critical moments.
Beverly made the go-ahead three-pointer with 4:19 left, part of a stunning 13-1 run that put the Wolfpack up 86-76 with 1:48 left. He also hit six free throws and assisted on another basket during the spurt.
Allonzo Trier scored 24 of his 27 points after halftime for the Wildcats (3-1), while freshman Deandre Ayton had 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Grant Williams scored all 22 of his points after halftime and made the go-ahead shot with 14.5 seconds left in regulation to lift Tennessee past No. 18 Purdue 78-75 another opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
After P.J. Thompson missed a jumper for the lead, James Daniel hit two free throws with 2.0 seconds left to push the margin to three. The Boilermakers had one more chance to tie, but Kyle Alexander intercepted Dakota Mathias’ long inbounds heave to end it.
Tennessee (3-0) shot just 36% but dominated the boards and finished with 21 second-chance points. Carsen Edwards scored 21 points to lead the Boilermakers (4-1).
Fifth-ranked Villanova failed to speed up Western Kentucky’s controlled tempo and struggled to make shots through the first half of its Battle 4 Atlantis debut.
In the second half, the Wildcats looked far more like the high-scoring bunch that had cracked 100 points in each of their past two games.
Jalen Brunson scored 18 points while Villanova finally got loose in transition after halftime, helping the Wildcats beat the Hilltoppers 66-58 in Wednesday’s opening round.
No. 11 Miami 57, at La Salle 46: Prized freshman Lonnie Walker IV struggled in his return home, scoring five points on two-of-eight shooting, but Dewan Huell scored 16 points and the Hurricanes (4-0) did just enough to remain unbeaten. B.J. Johnson scored 16 points and Pookie Powell added 15 for La Salle (3-3), which lost for the third consecutive game.
No. 12 Cincinnati 78, Wyoming 53: Gary Clark scored 17 points, Kyle Washington had his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Bearcats won the inaugural Cayman Islands Classic.
Clark was named the MVP of the three-game event with 49 points, 28 boards and seven assists. Jacob Evans was also on the all-tournament team for the Bearcats (6-0). Hayden Dalton led Wyoming (4-1) with three three-pointers and 15 points.
Chaminade 96, California 72: Dantley Walker scored 23 points and the Division II Silverswords added the Golden Bears to their list of upsets at the Maui Invitational by dominating the seventh-place game. Chaminade (3-2) is most famous for their win over Ralph Sampson and top-ranked Virginia in 1982 and have pulled off the occasional upset in Maui. Chaminade is 8-92 all-time since the first Maui Invitational in 1984, but most of the victories have been big ones for the tiny Catholic school from Honolulu: Texas (2012), Oklahoma (2010), Villanova (2003), Stanford (1992).
Cal Poly 73, Charleston 68: Victor Joseph scored eight of his 20 points in the final 1:32 to lead the Mustangs to victory in a Great Alaska Shootout opener. Donovan Fields added 17 points for Cal Poly (3-2). Jakub Niziol sank all five of his three-point attempts and matched a career-best with 15 points. Joe Chealey had 26 points and 10 assists to lead Charleston (2-2). Cameron Johnson and Evan Bailey added 10 points apiece.