EL PASO, Texas – Kent State hoisted the 61st Annual WestStar Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational trophy after defeating UTEP 47-46 in the Don Haskins Center on Thursday, Dec. 22.
This is the second time Kent State won the Sun Bowl Invitational title with the first coming in 1999. With the win, the Golden Flashes moves to 5-2 on the season while the Miners fall to 8-4 overall. NM State finished the tournament winning the Consolation Game, defeating North Carolina A&T 85-74. NM State heads into conference play with a 7-5 overall record and NC A&T finishes the week at 5-8.
“The competition at this year’s tournament was unbelievable, from top-to-bottom,” said Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association, Bernie Olivas. “Kudos to Basketball Chairman Barry Kobren for leading the way on this event and a special thank you to the title sponsor, WestStar. We cannot continue this great holiday tournament without our sponsor.”
Demetric Horton – North Carolina A&T
Xavier Pinson – NM State
Shamar Grievance – UTEP
Miryne Thomas – Kent State
Tae Hardy – Don Haskins Award
Sincere Carry – Barry Kobren MVP Award
RECAPS FROM DAY TWO
The Aggies of New Mexico State beat North Carolina A&T 85-76 after shooting 50-percent from the field. Both Marchelus Avery and Xavier Pinson ended the tournament scoring 20 points in the game, leading the way to a victory. The NM State Aggies, who started the game with a 20-3 lead, had five finishing with double-figures in scoring. Joining Avery and Pinson were Doctor Bradley (15), Kyle Feit (13) and Issa Muhammad (12).
NM State controlled the inside game, posting 44 points as a team inside the paint. NC A&T struggled offensively shooting 37 percent from the field.
The game between Kent State and UTEP was tied multiple times and had 17 lead changes; however, the final lead change went to Kent State. With 53 seconds left on the clock, UTEP forward Kevin Kalu gave the Miners a 46-45 lead. That was followed by defensive stops from each team. The Golden Flashes had the ball with 18 seconds on the ticker when Kent State guard Sincere Carry, Tournament MVP, was fouled. He hit both of the free throws he attempted to seal the victory.
Kent State vs UTEP Box Score _ 12 22 22
Highlights available on YouTube: @SunBowlAssociation
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