A-10 crowns two tournament champions

By Nick Canelas

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It took convincing wins over three power-conference schools, but the Saint Louis men’s basketball team was crowned champions of the 76 Classic tournament after beating Oklahoma 83-63 on Sunday night.

Senior forward Brian Conklin was named tournament Most Valuable Player as he tied his career-high with 25 points to lead the Billikens (6-0) to victory. Conklin shot 9-for-11 from the field and converted on all seven of his free-throw attempts.

Conklin also made key contributions in the first two games of the 76 Classic, netting 18 points and three steals in a 62-51 win over Boston College, while grabbing a season-high seven rebounds to go along with nine points in a 80-68 victory over Villanova.

Cody Ellis was also a major contributor for Saint Louis, scoring 16 points off the bench while shooting 4-of-5 from 3-point territory to help lead the Billikens past the Sooners (4-1). Junior guard Kwamain Mitchell added 10 points of his own while logging in 36 minutes of playing time.

Saint Louis shot 29-of-48 (60.4 percent) from the field, 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from beyond the arc and 16-of-20 (80 percent) from the free throw line.

The Billikens went into halftime with a 39-31 lead and kicked off the second half with two consecutive baskets by Conklin to stretch the lead to 12.

Saint Louis put the Sooners away in the second half after a Kyle Cassity 3-pointer capped off a 10-0 run to help the Billikens cruise to victory.

Saint Louis looks to stay undefeated when it takes the floor Tuesday night on the road against Loyola Marymount.

Flyers win Old Spice Classic

Dayton captured the Old Spice Classic championship with an 86-70 triumph over Minnesota on Sunday night.

The Flyers (5-1) had five players score in double-figures on the night – Kevin Dillard (19), Chris Johnson (18), Josh Benson (16), Josh Parker (12) and Luke Fabrizius (11) – who helped hand the Golden Gophers (6-1) their first loss of the season.

Dillard received the tournament’s MVP award as his 19 points led all scorers on the night. He also added 10 assists and seven steals while shooting 6-of-12 from the field.

Parker’s 12 points all came in the second half, when Dayton led by as many as 18.

Despite a slow start, the Flyers went into halftime with a 37-28 advantage thanks in large part to a 25-5 run to close out the first half.

Minnesota had only one of its starting five reach the double-digit mark in the scoring department. Sophomore guard Austin Hollins was left to carry the load for the Golden Gophers with 14 points in 30 minutes of work.

Despite Hollins’ effort offensively, the Minnesota defense did not follow suit as Dayton was relentless on the offensive boards. The Flyers grabbed 11 offensive rebounds as opposed to the Golden Gophers’ six, helping create numerous second-chance scoring opportunities.

Dayton capitalized on Minnesota’s mistakes throughout the contest, forcing 21 turnovers while only giving the ball up 12 times, which helped create even more scoring chances for the Flyers.

Dayton next heads back home on Wednesday night to take on Buffalo.

Temple suffers tough loss

In a game that featured 15 lead changes and 13 ties, Temple fell short to Bowling Green, 67-64, on Sunday afternoon.

The Falcons (4-2) scored seven of the game’s final eight points to help pull ahead in the final minute of the contest.

Junior guard Khalif Wyatt contributed with a game-high 19 points for the Owls (3-2), but it was not enough as Jordan Crawford’s 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining put Bowling Green ahead, 65-63, a lead the Falcons would not relinquish.

Crawford also contributed on the defensive end for Bowling Green, swatting away Ramone Moore’s game-tying 3-point attempt with a mere four seconds remaining on the clock.

The largest lead either team could attain throughout the game was six points. That came after the Falcons went on a 6-0 run with just over eight minutes to play to take a 54-48 lead.

Bowling Green got a combined 38 points from A’uston Calhoun (16), Scott Thomas (11) and Dee Brown (11) to lead the way for the Falcons.

Redshirt freshman Anthony Lee provided a spark in his first career start for the Owls, scoring a career-high in points (11), rebounds (nine) and minutes played (30).

The Owls look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon where they will play host to Central Michigan.

Nick Canelas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Canelas.