Mississippi State, Tulane & Ohio post consolation wins Sunday

CONWAY, S.C., November 24, 2019- Here are recaps of the first two games here Sunday at the second annual Myrtle Beach Invitational being played at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.

Mississippi State 81, Coastal Carolina 56: Mississippi State never trailed to take third place in the Myrtle Beach Invitational in a game that might be glimpse of the future for both teams this season.

Tyson Carter had 19 points and 10 assists, Reggie Perry added 16 points and six assists and Robert Woodward II grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (6-1), who came close to upsetting No. 17 Villanova in the tournament semifinals.

“We have a chance to be a very good team,” MSU coach Ben Howland said. “We have great comradery and unselfishness. When your best players are incredibly unselfish, it just permeates everywhere. We have great size and strength, and our depth is good. I’m excited about this team.”

Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis felt the same way about his squad before losing point guard Ebrima Dibba to a season-ending injury in Friday’s semifinals. Without Dibba, the Chanticleers (3-4) had 11 assists to 15 turnovers and struggled on defense, allowing the Bulldogs to sink 52.7 percent of their shots overall and 43.5 percent of their 3-pointers.

“Our identity has changed,” Ellis said. “We have to get on the practice floor and adjust some of the things we do. We have to get a new unit together. We’re basically starting over.”

Tulane 65, Utah 61: Despite being held to only four points, 11 below his season average, Tulane guard Christion Thompson had three key moments near the end of the Green Wave’s victory over Utah.

First, with the game tied at 61, Thompson chased down an offensive rebound, leading to a layup by Teshaun Hightower that gave Tulane a 63-61 lead. Then Thompson helped out on defense to contest a potential game-tying shot by Utah’s Rylan Jones. Finally, he drained two free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory for the Green Wave (5-1).

“Christion didn’t score much today, so he did it some other ways,” Tulane coach Ron Hunter said. “That’s what our team is about. We have a bunch of grinders.”

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Jones gave Utah a 61-55 lead with 4:36 remaining. But the Utes (4-2) went scoreless the rest of the way, missing four shots and committing two turnovers on their final six possessions.

“They stepped up and made some plays, and we struggled on our end,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “Momentum got the best of us.”

Hightower led four Tulane players who scored in double figures with 16 points, while Jordan Walker had 12 points and seven assists. Timmy Allen paced the Utes with 14 points and eight rebounds, but committed seven of the team’s 20 turnovers.

Ohio 75, Middle Tennessee 63: Ohio guard Jordan Dartis closed out the 2019 Myrtle Beach Invitational with the best scoring performance of the tournament, sinking 8-of-13 shots from 3-point range and scoring 32 points to lead the Bobcats past Middle Tennessee.

Dartis made two 3-pointers in less than a minute to propel Ohio (4-3) on a 13-2 run. That broke open a close game and sent the Bobcats to 43-29 halftime lead, and they maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.

Jason Preston added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, and Ben Vander Plas grabbed 11 rebounds. Middle Tennessee (3-4) was paced by C.J. Jones and Antonio Green, who had 13 points each.