The Latest: No. 3 Gonzaga holds off Illinois 84-78 in Maui
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on the Maui Invitational college basketball tournament (all times local):
Rui Hachimura scored 23 points, Zach Norvell Jr. added 15 and No. 3 Gonzaga held off Illinois 84-78 in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
Gonzaga (4-0) withstood Illinois’ 10-0 run to go up nine with 97 seconds left, but Trent Frazier scored on a four-point play to pull the Illini within 80-78.
Illinois forced Gonzaga into a difficult shot and got the ball back with 30 seconds left, but Frazier air-balled a long 3-pointer.
Gonzaga’s Jeremy Jones hit two free throws to send the Zags into Tuesday’s semifinals against Arizona.
Gonzaga, playing without do-everything forward Killian Tillie (ankle), had trouble with Illinois’ defensive pressure in the first half, allowing the Illini to keep it close.
Frazier scored 29 points and Giorgi Bezhanishvili 17 for Illinois.
The Maui Invitational is honoring former Associated Press college basketball writer Jim O’Connell at this year’s tournament.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski also mentioned O’Connell during his postgame news conference after the top-ranked Blue Devils beat San Diego State in their Maui opener.
“I didn’t notice it until they were asking questions, brought a smile to my face to see the chair for Jim O’Connell and God bless him,” Krzyzewski said. “This was one of his favorite, favorites, and he was the only guy to ever come here and never see the beach. And even coaches on the day off or something, we walk the beach, he would, he wouldn’t do that. So that’s a cool thing.”
A member of the Hall of Fame and a veteran of more than 30 years with AP, O’Connell died earlier this year at 64.
Justin Coleman scored 18 points and Arizona rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to knock off short-handed Iowa State 71-66 in the Maui Invitational.
Arizona (4-0) was ragged through the first 30 minutes before playing better at both ends during a 12-2 run that tied it at 56-all with five minutes left. The Wildcats went ahead and stayed there, making eight straight free throws in the final 39 seconds to earn a spot in Tuesday’s semifinals against No. 3 Gonzaga or Illinois.
Arizona’s Chase Jeter had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The scrappy Cyclones (3-1) played without point guard Lindell Wigginton and forward Solomon Young due to injuries, and Cam Lard and Zoran Talley because of suspensions.
That left eight scholarship players for the Maui opener against Arizona, but it didn’t slow them early. The Cyclones led by seven at halftime and stretched it to 10 midway through the second half before Arizona rallied.
Marial Shayok led Iowa State with 19 points.
R.J. Barrett scored 20 points, Cam Reddish added 16 and top-ranked Duke remained undefeated at the Maui Invitational with a 90-64 rout over San Diego State.
The Blue Devils (4-0) shot 52 percent, made 10 of 25 from 3-point range and improved to 16-0 in Maui while earning a spot in Tuesday’s semifinals against No. 8 Auburn.
Duke has been the talk of college basketball since its highly-touted freshmen shot the season out of a canon with a blowout win over then-No. 2 Kentucky. The five-time Maui champion Blue Devils arrived in paradise the favorites and played like it against the Aztecs (2-1).
Despite front-court foul trouble in the first half — Zion Williamson played seven minutes — Duke took control with an 11-0 run and led 49-32 by halftime behind Barrett’s 16 points.
The Blue Devils kept the runaway going with an early 8-0 run in the second half, building the lead to 71-46 on Williamson’s breakaway windmill dunk. Williamson had 13 points in 18 minutes.
Devin Watson had 15 points to lead San Diego State (2-1).
Bryce Brown scored 26 points, Jared Harper added 25 and No. 8 Auburn outlasted Xavier 88-79 in overtime to open the Maui Invitational.
The Tigers (4-0) shot poorly from the perimeter early and had a hard time shaking the new-look Musketeers (2-2), missing badly on a shot to win it in regulation.
Auburn took control in the overtime behind its defense, outscoring Xavier 11-2. The Tigers scored 31 points off Xavier’s 22 turnovers overall to earn a spot in the semifinals against the Duke-San Diego State winner.
Ryan Welage had 17 points and Paul Scruggs 16 for the Musketeers.
Auburn had a five-point lead with a minute left in regulation, but Naj Marshall made a 3-pointer from the wing to pull the Musketeers within 77-75.
Xavier tied it at 77-all with 26 seconds left in regulation on Tyrique Jones’ two free throws and Brown’s last-second shot came up well short.
The Maui Invitational is underway with one of the most stacked fields in tournament history.
No. 8 Auburn opened the tournament against Xavier on Monday in front of an already-rowdy crowd at the tiny Lahaina Civic Center.
The field is led by top-ranked Duke, which has won the title each of the previous five years it played in Maui. The Blue Devils open against San Diego State.
No. 3 Gonzaga faces Illinois and Arizona plays Iowa State.