Villanona beats Oklahoma State to reach championship game
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton flashed a big smile when talking about a game-winning 3-pointer by 6-foot-10 forward Mfiondu Kabengele.
Kabengele hit the deep jumper with a half-second left in overtime, and No. 14 Florida State advanced to the AdvoCare Invitational championship game with a 79-76 win over No. 19 LSU on Friday.
“Of course we drew up that last play for Mfiondu to take a jump shot deep in the corner. … That’s the shot we wanted all along,” Hamilton said with a laugh.
Tremont Waters made three free throws to pull LSU even at 76 with 11.5 seconds to go in overtime before Kabengele’s shot bounced off the rim and into the basket.
“It just dropped right in and I was in shock,” Kabengele said. “I’m just happy it went in.”
Kabengele, the nephew of former NBA standout Dikembe Mutombo, finished with 15 points.
After trailing by nine, Florida State forced overtime when Trent Forrest tied it at 68-68 on a layup with 2.8 seconds left.
“Our guys, we’re strong in character,” Hamilton said. “I thought they grew up a little bit tonight.”
“I think we learned a lot about ourselves this game,” Mays said. “We played a ranked team, a great team and we hung in there. We gave ourselves a chance to win.”
Reid hit a 3 and Emmitt Williams had a fast-break dunk as LSU went up 59-52 with 7½ minutes left.
Reid, slowed recently by an ankle injury, scored 12 points in 41 minutes.
M.J. Walker had 13 of his game-high 21 points during the first half as Florida State took a 30-29 lead at the break.
LSU (5-1) will go against Oklahoma State in Sunday’s third-place game.
“I was proud of us,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “We came back when we were down five in overtime. We could have just packed it in. We got a couple gut punches there and we hung in there.”
VILLANOVA 77, OKLAHOMA STATE 58
Defending national champion Villanova got its swagger back.
The Wildcats made a tournament-record 16 3-pointers.
“Just a good next step for us,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said.
Villanova (4-2) stopped a two-game skid by beating Canisius 82-56 in Thursday’s first round.
“They play with a champion mindset,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “You can sense there’s urgency to the way they prepare, the way they warm up, the way they huddle during game, the way they communicate defensively.”
Oklahoma State (3-2) got 15 points from Mike Cunningham. The graduate transfer played in his second game after missing the Cowboys’ first three with a left hamstring injury.
“We were just off today,” Boynton said. “We let them control the tempo.”
Paschall had 20 points, including six 3-pointers, as Villanova took a 42-26 halftime advantage. The Wildcats went 10-for-24 from 3-point range during the half.
“I feel like my teammates just did a great job of finding me,” Paschall said.
Booth’s 3-pointer gave Villanova a 54-29 lead four minutes into the second half.
Oklahoma State got within 60-47 on Cunningham’s 3 with 8½ minutes to go.
The Cowboys will face LSU Sunday for third place.
“I’m very proud of the team,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said. “A gutsy win … the grind to come back. Totally embarrassed for yesterday from my part because I felt like I let my team down.”
Canisius (1-4) got 16 points from Takal Molson and Isaiah Reese had 14.
The Golden Griffins will look to avoid losing all three games at the invitational when they face UAB Sunday for seventh place.
Canisius opened the tournament Thursday with an 83-56 loss to Villanova.
Jones had 10 points to help Memphis go up 40-31 at halftime.
CHARLESTON 74, UAB 51
Orlando area product Grant Riller had 33 points and six assists as Charleston (4-2) beat UAB 74-51 and advanced to play Memphis in the fifth-place game.
Riller had the second-highest point total in tournament history. Marquette’s Matt Carlino had 38 against Georgia Tech in 2014.
Riller has six career 30-or-more-point games.
“Tonight I got loose a little bit,” Riller said. “I hit a couple jump shots and that helped. It gave me a lot of confidence.”
UAB (3-2) got 11 points apiece from Lewis Sullivan and Jeremiah Bell.
The Blazers will take on Canisius Sunday for seventh place.
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