Finals MVP Ty-Shon Alexander scored a career-high 36 points including seven 3-pointers to lead the Creighton Bluejays past the No. 16 Clemson Tigers 87-82 Wednesday (21 November) to win the 2nd Annual Cayman Islands Classic at the John Gray High School Gymnasium.
Alexander shot 9-16 from the field and was perfect from the charity stripe (11-11), while hitting 7 of 12 three-pointers.
Leading by 10 at the half, Creighton continued it’s hot shooting from Tuesday’s semifinal win over Georgia State, finishing the game 55.8% from the field.
“It’s hard to get easy baskets, yet we shoot 56% against that defense,” said Creighton Coach Greg McDermott. “Ty-Shon is a special player. He recognized last year when Kyri Thomas went to the NBA, and Marcus Foster graduated, that we were going to need somebody to score for us. To his credit, he went into the gym, he got to work, he built on his strengths and he improved on his weaknesses. This doesn’t come to me as a surprise.”
Alexander joins former Cincinnati Bearcats forward Gary Clark as just the second MVP of the Cayman Islands Classic.
“I relied on my team to find me a lot. I came out real hot, made a lot of tough shots. My team has done a lot of great things. We came in prepared, and played three tough games. That didn’t stop us from winning this thing.”
3rd/4th Place Game: Georgia State 91 vs 67 Georgia
Senior Malik Benlevi scored 24 points including 8 three-pointers as the Panthers mauled the Bulldogs 91-67 to claim 3rd place at the 2nd Cayman Islands Classic. Georgia State starters all scored in double figures with juniors Damon Wilson and D’Marcus Simonds scoring 17 points each.
5th/6th Place Game: Illinois State 73 vs 70 Boise State
Senior Milik Yarbrough stuffed the stat sheet with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists as the Redbirds soared over the Boise State Broncos 73-70 to claim 5th place at the 2nd Cayman Islands Classic. Senior Phil Fayne pitched in 10 points.
“It always seems like we run into this team when we are on vacation,” said Fayne. “Last year, played Boise State and they beat us really bad. We were happy to have the opportunity to play them again. It was a great game, fought all the way to the end.”
7th/8th Place Game: Akron 61 vs 49 St. Bonaventure
Junior Daniel Utomi continued his run of strong play scoring 22 points while grabbing 9 rebounds as the Zips topped the St. Bonaventure Bonnies 61-49 to claim 7th place at the 2nd Cayman Islands Classic.