Continental Tires Las Vegas Classic Recap
The two-day tournament beginning on December 22nd and concluding on December 23rd featured four teams facing off in the Continental Tires Las Vegas Classic. Penn State, Colorado, Kent State and SMU all competed as the losers of the first round played each other for third place in a consolation game, while the winners advanced to the final round for the championship game.
Penn State vs. Colorado
Despite a great performance by Shep Garner, who racked up 26 points, it wasn’t enough to push the Nittany Lions over the top as the Buffaloes won 71-70. This Colorado team was 11-1 coming into this game and was tied with five teams with the longest active winning streak in college basketball. Balanced scoring was the key for Colorado in their victory over Penn State. Four of their starting five scored double figures, while efficient three-point shooting throughout the game proved to be the difference for the Buffaloes.
Kent State vs. No. 18 SMU
Eighteenth-ranked SMU faced Kent State in the first round and didn’t have too much trouble getting past the Golden Flashes in their 90-74 victory. Senior Nic Moore led the way for the Mustangs with 25 points, including going three of six from behind the arc. Junior Keith Frazier was another huge contributor for SMU, coming off the bench to score 19 points. As for Kent State, freshman Jaylin Walker carried most of the scoring responsibilities with 20 points along with six rebounds and four assists. Despite Walker’s great overall play, he received no other help from the rest of the team, which contributed to the Mustangs’ 16-point victory.
Consolation game: Kent State vs. Penn State
Penn State senior Brandon Taylor was the story in this game as he tallied a new career high with 29 points and led the Nittany Lions to a 75-69 victory. Penn State also dominated in the rebounding category 40-29, as four of the starting five had over five rebounds. Freshman Josh Reeves had an all around great game, scoring 10 points, collecting six rebounds, registering two blocks, and tallying three steals for the Nittany Lions. Kent State had balanced scoring across the starters and the bench, as Jimmy Hall leading the team in scoring with 15 points.
Championship Game: Colorado vs. No. 18 SMU
The championship game at the Continental Tires Las Vegas Classic was a game of effort between these two teams as the Mustangs pulled out a 70-66 victory to remain perfect on the year. Colorado came out firing from the three-point range, knocking down 12 for the game. Junior Josh Fortune was huge coming off the bench, scoring 15 points and going four of seven from deep. Senior Nic Moore led the way for the Mustangs with 16 points. Along with Moore’s 16 points, two other starters for the Mustangs scored in double digits. This game went down to the wire and the lead flip-flopped throughout the second half. However, in the end, SMU made a few more plays than the Buffaloes to move to 10-0 on the season.
Carlos Flores is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.