Two Champions Were Crowned in the Cancun Challenge
In the second year of the Cancun Challenge held at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico, two champions were crowned, Sam Houston State in the Mayan Division and the University of Kentucky in the Riviera Division.
Ashton Mitchell scored 28 points and Sam Houston State pulled away late to beat Rider 80-68 on Wednesday in the Cancun Challenge.
Gilberto Clavell, who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, scored nine points during a 19-8 run to give the Bearkats (4-2) a 57-46 lead with 11 minutes left to play. Corey Allmond added 14 points.
The Broncs (3-3) trimmed the margin to five points. But Sam Houston State outscored Rider 12-3, sparked by Mitchell's six points, to take a 76-62 lead with 2:30 remaining. Mitchell shot 9-for-14 from the floor and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line .
Later in the day freshman sensation John Wall scored a season-best 23 points, including clutch shots in the final minute that sent the game to overtime, and No. 5 Kentucky closed with an eight-point run for a 73-65 victory over gritty Stanford.
Playing his fifth college game, Wall capped a big night with a slam dunk at the final horn, setting off a wild celebration by Kentucky players before a crowd of 1,425.
Wall hit a 12-foot fadeaway jumper from the right wing to tie the score at 61 with 30.6 seconds remaining in regulation, then two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Fellow freshman Eric Bledsoe made an NBA-length 3-pointer with 33 seconds to go that gave Kentucky (6-0) a 69-65 lead it did not relinquish.
Landry Fields was fouled by Ramon Harris during a scramble and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to give Stanford (3-3) a 63-61 lead with 28.2 seconds on the clock.
The Wildcats opted not to call a timeout and went to freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins, who was fouled on the block. The 53.6 percent free throw shooter missed the first free throw and then the second on purpose, but fouled Stanford's Jarrett Mann on the rebound.
Mann, a 53 percent free throw shooter, then missed both of his free-throw attempts, setting up a final flurry. Wall drew a blocking call on Andrew Zimmermann with 2.4 seconds left and calmly swished both free throws to tie it again.
Stanford's full-court pass was batted off the backboard by Patrick Patterson and corralled by Wall to send the game to overtime.
It was only the third meeting between the schools and first since the 1998 NCAA tournament semifinals. Kentucky won that showdown 86-85 in overtime on its way to its seventh — and most recent — national championship.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Sam Houston State
| ||TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE|| |
|Wednesday, November 18, 2009 |
| Oral Roberts at 83, Stanford 81 |
|Thursday, November 19, 2009 |
| Kentucky 102, Sam Houston State at 92 |
| Virginia 79, Rider at 46 |
| Cleveland State 78, Florida A&M at 64 |
|Saturday, November 21, 2009 |
| Stanford 99, Florida A&M at 69 |
| Kentucky 92, Rider at 63 |
| Virginia 76, Oral Roberts at 55 |
| Cleveland State 80, Sam Houston State at 65 |
|Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at Cancun |
| Rider 88, Florida A&M vs 73 |
| Sam Houston State 71, Oral Roberts vs 65 |
| Kentucky vs 73, Cleveland State 49 |
| Stanford 57, Virginia vs 52 |
|Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at Cancun |
| ORU 72, FAMU vs 51 |
| SHSU 80, Rider vs 68 |
| Virginia 76, Cleveland St. vs 65 |
| Kentucky vs 73, Stanford 65 OT|
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