ODU, UCSB, Oakland (Michigan), and ETSU advance in Vegas 16 Tournament


Yeasayer, “Silly Me”

Found on the album Amen & Goodbye

To be released Friday, April 1, 2016

It may have been 73 degrees and windy outside the Mandalay Bay Events Center, but inside the 10,000 set Las Vegas arena–the action did get hot at times.  Even though teams mostly had two to three weeks to practice, a little bit of rust did show on the court.

Here is a brief recap of the four inaugural games:

A day of promise mostly ended up with lots of blowouts

The nearly 11 hours of hoops fun started out with Old Dominion jumping out to a 12 point lead in the first half.  Tennessee Tech did manage to make things interesting, trailing only by two at the half (32-30).  TTU then briefly led 37-36 before a 10-0 run by ODU ballooned the lead to 50-38 with 13:24 remaining.  There was even one Chris Webber moment, where one TTU player called time out with one minute showing on the clock but his team didn’t have any.  The result of the play was a technical foul, but without all of the furor and 75,000 fans cramming a football stadium when Webber of Michigan committed his most infamous gaffe in the final half minute during the thrilling 1993 championship game.  The final score ended up being ODU 75, TTU 59 as Old Dominion shot 30 of 58 for the game (52 percent), while Tennessee Tech was only 21 of 49 from the field for 43 percent.

Another telling stat of this first quarterfinal game on Monday afternoon was the rebounding–ODU winning that battle 35 to 26, with a decisive 11-1 edge on the offensive glass which led to 15 second chance points.  Old Dominion was led in scoring by guard Trey Freeman off the bench with 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting, while fellow guard Aaron Bacote ended up with 16 points.  Tennessee Tech was led by senior guard Torrance Rowe as he played his last college game scoring a game high 22 points on 9 of 16 shooting.

Game two followed similar blowout pattern

The Northern Illinois Huskies traveled all the way from DeKalb, Illinois and looked really good early.  NIU built up a 43-32 halftime lead, but the Gauchos from UC Santa Barbara rallied from a 15 point deficit to trip up the Huskies in winning the second quarterfinal and set up a Tuesday night date with ODU by a score of 70-63.  UCSB was led in scoring by Gabe Vincent’s 20 points and Sam Beeler compiling 16 points off the bench.  NIU only shot 39 percent from the field and was led in scoring by Marshawn Wilson who had 14 points.

Night session started out with wire-to-wire finish

Oakland (Michigan) took control halfway through the first half and led 45-28 at the break, en route to an easy 90-72 win over the Towson Tigers.  The Golden Grizzlies were led in scoring Kay Felder, who had 27 points to go along with seven assists.  Towson traveled all the way west from Maryland as Mike Morsell led their team scoring with a modest 22 point effort.

Final game of the night turned out to be the closet one of the bunch

East Tennessee State and Louisiana Tech featured some athletes who could run and they featured some length among the key starters.  It led to some a nice pace throughout the first half, where the largest lead was six points.  In the waning minutes, Louisiana Tech had several chances to either tie or take the lead but missed shots and a few turnovers spelled their ultimate undoing.  The final score was ETSU 88, Louisiana Tech 83.  ETSU had 11 threes in the contest and were led in scoring by Dayon Griffin with 29 points.

Semifinals on CBS Sports Network and several campus radio outlets Tuesday

Action resumes at the Vegas 16 Tournament on Tuesday night with two games:

9 p.m. Eastern, Old Dominion vs. UCSB

11:30 or thereabouts, Oakland (Michigan) vs. ETSU

Best bets for Internet streaming:  UCSB, Oakland, and ETSU offer free streaming of their games while ODU listeners would have to pay a $9.95 streaming fee.




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