Miami downs Fresno State behind Johnson’s 24 points

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Zach Johnson had a hunch his services would be needed one last time so the senior guard crashed the offensive backboard in the closing seconds for a dramatic put-back dunk that helped Miami advance to the championship game of the Wooden Legacy Tournament.

Johnson’s emphatic putback with 0.2 seconds remaining off a Chris Lykes miss was the last of his game-high 24 points off the bench as Miami held off Fresno State 78-76 Friday night in a semifinal game of the tournament.

“I thought Chris had a great look,” Johnson said. “There was about six or eight seconds left and I knew that our best chance to win, if he missed it, was to get on the offensive board. I took off, the ball just bounced my way and I put it back in.”

The Hurricanes (5-0) will face the Seton Hall in Sunday’s tournament championship game.

Lykes, a sophomore guard, added 17 points, avoided injury when he crashed head-first into a media table behind the Hurricanes’ basket late in the game. Dejan Vasiljevic added 12 for the Hurricanes.

Lykes and Vasiljevic have scored in double figures in every game for Miami this season.

Braxton Huggins scored 28 points for Fresno State (2-2), while Deshon Taylor added 25.

Huggins’ 20 first-half points were tied for second-most in a half in the tournament’s history. But he was watching from the bench when Johnson threw down his game-winning dunk, having fouled out late in the game.

“That possession wasn’t the one that made us lose the game,” Huggins said about Johnson’s heroics. “Throughout the game we had silly turnovers, we had pick-and-roll issues and our defense wasn’t that good. We have to get back and work on that, watch some film.”

Fresno State lost despite a 43-29 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs also turned the ball over 20 times to Miami’s 11.

For the second consecutive game in the tournament, Fresno State relied heavily on its bench. The Bulldogs got 74 of their 76 points from their starters after getting 69 of their 78 points from the starters in Thursday’s victory over Northwestern.

The Bulldogs will face Hawaii in Sunday’s third-place game.

SETON HALL 64, HAWAII 54

Seton Hall junior guard Myles Powell had to work hard for everything he got on the night reached the 1,000-point plateau.

Powell scored a game-high 19 points after he was held to single digits midway through the second half as the Pirates (3-2) advanced to the championship game of the Wooden Legacy tournament where they will face Miami. Seton Hall is 15-8 all-time against the Hurricanes.

“He’s got a ton of heart and he’s not going to lose confidence,” Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said of Powell. “He’s going to keep shooting shots and he’s going to keep taking tough ones. He’s our workhorse and as he goes, we go.”

Powell was coming off a 40-point performance in the tournament semifinal Thursday against Grand Canyon. He also entered with an average of 27.5 points per game. His layup and two free throws aided a 12-0 Seton Hall run in the second half put the Pirates on top for good.

Sheriff Drammeh scored 14 points for Hawaii (4-2) topping the combined 13 he scored in the two previous games he played this season. Drammeh’s defense was instrumental in keeping Powell in check for most of the game.

Eddie Stansbury also scored 14 points for Hawaii.

NORTHWESTERN 91 LA SALLE 74

Facing a trapping defense for the second time in a 24-hour stretch was not Northwestern’s ideal scenario, yet it ended up helping the Wildcats to a high-energy start in the consolation-bracket victory.

A 17-3 first-half run gave Northwestern an early 25-10 lead and the Wildcats never looked back on their way to the fifth-place game where they will face Utah.

“Those games aren’t easy when teams are scattered and trapping everything for the whole game,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. “I thought we got a little tired in the last few minutes of the game which led to some turnovers but overall I’m really pleased with the quick turnaround. Playing against a scrappy La Salle team, this was a good win for us.

Ryan Taylor and Vic Law each scored 21 points for Northwestern.

A.J. Turner added 20 points for the Wildcats (4-1).

Pookie Powell had 23 points for La Salle (0-6), one game after his streak of 10-consecutive double-digit games ended. Miles Brookins added 12 points for the Explorers, while Jared Kimbrough had 10.

UTAH 75, GRAND CANYON 66

Needing to halt Grand Canyon’s second-half charge, Utah changed its defense and ultimately propelled itself into the tournament’s fifth-place game against Northwestern.

Once holding a 16-point lead in the first half, the Utes saw their advantage slip to a single point midway through the second half. A switch from man-to-man defense to zone, as a suggestion from assistant coach Andy Hill, was the momentum change Utah needed.

“I’m not sure what he saw in that situation, but with 9:22 left he said to switch to a zone,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “We had a hard time guarding them in the post. We kept sending them to the foul line and we thought that zone would maybe take them out of that process. I thought we did a nice job.”

Senior guard Sedrick Barefield scored 26 points for Utah (3-2), 18 in the second half, and sophomore forward Donnie Tillman added 14.

Sophomore forward Alessandro Lever scored 16 points and freshman guard Tim Finke added 14 for Grand Canyon (3-3), which fell to 0-3 all-time against Utah and to 0-5 all-time against Pac-12 opponents.

Utah outrebounded Grand Canyon 31-24 to earn the victory. Barefield scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, hitting three of his four 3-pointers after halftime.