2022 PWL participant Fresno State wins post-season title


2022 Paycom Wooden Legacy participant Fresno State ended the 2021-2022 season on a high note as the Bulldogs defeated the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 85-74 to win the championship game of The Basketball Classic, presented by ERACISM, on Friday iat the HTC Center in Conway, S. C.

The win earned Fresno State (23-13) its second national postseason tournament championship as the Bulldogs captured the 1983 National Invitational Tournament title.  Prior to the Coastal Carolina win, Fresno State defeated Eastern Washington (83-74), Youngstown State (80-71) and Southern Utah (67-48) in the tournament.

Junior forward Orlando Robinson, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs as all five starters scored in double figures.  Fresno State used a 13-1 run to start the game and later led 44-24 late in the first half en route to a 47-29 halftime lead.

Sophomore guard Destin Whitaker, who replaced the injured Anthony Holland in the Bulldog lineup, tied a school record by going 6-for-6 on 3-point field goal attempts in the game –  the fourth time a Bulldog had a perfect 3-point field goal percentage with six makes (first since 2013).

Fresno State shot 53 percent from the field for the game, including a sizzling 60 percent on 3-point field goals.  The Bulldogs’ defense also had six blocks, five steals and outrebounded CCU 27-23 on the defensive glass.

Robinson was named The Basketball Classic Most Valuable Player, while Robinson, Whitaker, Leo Colimerio and Isaiah Hill also earned All-Tournament Team honors.

With the Paycom Wooden Legacy to be played Thanksgiving weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center in southern California, other schools in the 15th annual event will be Saint Mary’s (26-8, West Coast), Vanderbilt (19-17, Southeastern) and Washington (17-15, Pac-12).

Both Saint Mary’s and Vanderbilt joined Fresno State in competing in the 2022 post-season.  The Gaels defeated Indiana before being eliminated by UCLA in the NCAA Championships.  Vanderbilt posted wins over Belmont and Dayton before losing to Xavier in the National Invitational Tournament.

Washington’s season ended in the Pac-12 Tournament where the Huskies lost to NCAA participant USC in the quarter-finals.  USC won the 2021 Paycom Wooden Legacy for the second time by defeating San Diego State of the Mountain West 58-43 in the championship.

Other Paycom tournament champions include USC (2007), Wake Forest (2008), West Virginia (2009), UNLV (2010), Saint Louis (2011), Cal (2012), San Diego State (2013), Washington (2014), Michigan State (2015), UCLA (2016), Washington State (2017), Seton Hall (2018) and Arizona (2019).

he Paycom Wooden Legacy is owned and operated by ESPN Events.  Travel and ticket information for the 15th annual event will be announced this summer. For more information visit thewoodenlegacy.com.