Portland, OR – After some lackluster games on Thanksgiving Day, the PK80 Phil Knight Invitational, celebrating Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday, lived up to its hype with some exciting contests, great individual performances and solid crowds on Friday.
In the final game of the day at the Moda Center, Florida outlasted Gonzaga 111-105 in double-overtime in front of lower bowl filled with primarily Zag fans. Florida was led career-highs from their tough guards 6-6 junior Jalen Hudson (35 points) and 6-0 senior Chris Chiozza (26 points). Shooting guard KeVaughn Allen added 23 points making all 11 of his free throws. Chiozza also had 10 assists and made an acrobatic drive to the hoop that resulted in a three-point play in the second overtime. Hudson followed with a three-pointer which put the Gators up by seven with 1:41 remaining. Gonzaga’s 6-9 Johnathan Williams was unstoppable inside and played a career game of his own with 39 points and 12 rebounds.
6-5 Rice transfer Egor Koulechov couldn’t miss on Thursday in scoring 35 points but couldn’t find the range in this game shooting 1-of-9 but led the Gators with nine rebounds. 6-10 Killian Tillie of France was impressive for Gonzaga with 17 points and showing nice range, hitting 2-of-3 3s. Point guard Josh Perkins was also solid with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Both these teams played at a very high level and should have major success this season.
6-11 freshman Marvin Bagley was equally unstoppable in Duke’s 85-78 overtime win over a very solid Texas team. The Longhorns led for most of the game, and by as many as 16 points in the second half before the Blue Devils inside presence wore them down. Bagley tied the game at 70 with a jumper and Duke survived in overtime despite having Grayson Allen (12 points) fouling out with two minutes remaining in regulation. Bagley (34 points, 15 rebounds) and fellow 6-11 frosh Wendell Carter Jr. (14 points, 11 rebounds) repeatedly scored inside late in the game, particularly after Texas center, 6-11 Mo Bamba (9 points, 10 rebounds) got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out.
6-9 Tulane transfer Dylan Osetkowski was strong for much of the game giving the Longhorns physicality inside to help combat Duke’ bigs. Osetkowski ended the night with 19 points and seven rebounds although he missed all five of his three-point attempts. 6-4 Kerwin Roach II (18 points) brought the house to its feet with three exciting dunks on drives. Duke and Florida will battle for the title of the Motion bracket on Sunday.
In the Victory bracket North Carolina and Michigan State advanced to the final. 6-8 Luke Maye had career-highs of 28 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels to an 87-68 win over Arkansas in a game that was in single-digits with under four minutes left. The Spartans rolled over UConn 77-55 behind a career-best 28 points from Cassius Winston.
On the consolation side, Oregon outlasted DePaul 89-79 in overtime as point guard Payton Pritchard made seven three-pointers on the way to a career-high 29 points. The Ducks came back from a six-point deficit with 7:28 remaining in regulation to avoid what would have been an embarrassing second defeat a the tournament organized to recognize the achievements of their most famous alumnus. They will face Oklahoma, a 93-71 winner over Portland. Sooner freshman Trae Young scored 33 points to lead them to the win. Ohio State topped Stanford and Butler edged Portland State 71-69 and they will play each other on Sunday. Portland State had a chance to win the game with a late three-pointer but it wasn’t to be.
It was a great day of basketball at two venues on Friday and there will be more of the same on Sunday. Besides the two title games the Gonzaga – Texas match-up will be exciting to watch.
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