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Iowa knocks off Texas Tech as a fourth undefeated team falls on Thanksgiving

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Senior point guard Jordan Bohannon, who’s still recovering from hip surgery this past spring, scored a game-high 20 points and dished off six assists as Iowa (5-1) led wire to wire in defeating previously unbeaten No. 12 Texas Tech 72-61 in the Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational on Thanksgiving night. 

Junior big man Luka Garza, one of the country’s most potent interior offensive players, added 17 points and grabbed a dozen boards for the Hawkeyes, whose only loss so far this season came at the hands of undefeated DePaul in the Gavitt Games earlier this month.

With the victory, Iowa advances to play San Diego State in Friday’s semifinals while Texas Tech (5-1) will face Creighton (4-2) in the third-place game.

Unlike Texas Tech, surging San Diego State (7-0) remained unbeaten by putting on a clinic in crushing Creighton 83-52 in the final game of the opening night in the Las Vegas Invitational.  The unranked Aztecs, who boast one of the deepest rosters in the country, used a 20-3 run to build a comfortable 40-25 halftime lead and were never seriously threatened thereafter in handing the Blue Jays their second loss of the 2019-20 campaign.

Malachi Flynn, a Washington State transfer, scored a game-high 21 points and 6-10 Vanderbilt grad transfer Yanni Wetzell added 15 for San Diego State, which will look to extend its season-opening winning streak to eight against once-beaten Iowa in a late-night matchup on Friday.

Highly-recruited freshman Nicco Mannion’s coast-to-coast driving layup in the waning seconds lifted No. 14 Arizona (7-0) past upset-minded Pepperdine 93-91 in the Wooden Legacy late Friday night.  Josh Green, another five-star recruit, paced Sean Miller’s undefeated Wildcats with 24 points while also snaring eight rebounds and dishing off five assists.

Arizona will play Penn in Friday’s semifinals while Pepperdine (3-4), whose five starters scored all 91 points, will face Central Florida in the consolation bracket.         

In other Thursday night action, Markus Howard erupted for 40 points as once-beaten Marquette (4-1) defeated Davidson 73-63 in the opening round of the Orlando Invitational.  Howard, a 5-11 senior guard from Chandler, Arizona, connected on 11 of 26 shots from the floor, including 5 of 10 from long distance.  It was Howard’s fifth career 40-point effort. 

Smooth shooting 6-5 junior Kellan Grady — the A-10’s Rookie of the Year during his freshman season in 2018 — scored a team-high 28 points for Davidson, which fell to 2-4.

Marquette advances to play USC (6-1) in Friday’s semifinals while Davidson, playing its third of nine games away from home over a ten-game stretch, will take on Fairfield (1-5) in the tournament’s consolation round.

Alabama’s John Petty, Jr., scored a blistering 34 points, including burying a half-dozen shots from beyond the arc, and cleared the glass for a dozen rebounds, but it was all for naught as the Crimson Tide fell to hot-shooting Iowa State 104-89 in the consolation bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island in the Bahamas. 

Tyrese Haliburton, coming off a terrific freshman season, paced the Cyclones with 23 points, eleven rebounds and a game-high nine assists.

Alabama dropped to 2-4 on the season while Iowa State, which made 15 of 29 shots from 3-point range, improved to 4-2.

Senior guard Myles Powell, a legitimate contender for the Big East Player of the Year honors, scored 18 points as Seton Hall improved to 5-2 with a convincing 81-56 rout of Southern Mississippi (2-5) in Thursday’s other consolation game in the eight-team Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.   

Led by 7-foot, 235-pound reserve center Olivier Sarr’s double-double, Wake Forest (4-2) used its considerable size advantage in wearing down Charleston 65-56 in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy in Anaheim.  Sarr, a junior from Toulouse, France, scored 14 points and hauled down a similar number of rebounds for the Demon Deacons while teammate Isaiah Mucius, a 6-8 sophomore forward from East Patchogue, N.Y., tallied ten points while grabbing ten boards.

Zep Jasper, a 6-1 sophomore guard, led Charleston (3-3) with thirteen points. 

It was Wake Forest’s first victory in California since capturing the 76 Classic — a precursor to the Wooden Legacy — in 2008.  Wake Forest will face Long Beach State, a come-from-behind 66-65 winner over Providence in Thursday’s quarterfinals, in Friday’s semifinal round.  It will be the first meeting ever between the two schools.

The Ivy League’s Penn Quakers, who have won impressive early season road contests at Alabama and Providence, improved to 4-2 with a heart-stopping 68-67 opening round victory against UCF (3-2) in the Wooden Legacy.  Forward A. J. Brodeur, a 6-8 All-Ivy selection, scored a game-high 23 points for Pennsylvania, which advances to play 14th-ranked Arizona in Friday’s semifinals.

Darcy G. Richardson is a historian and the author of more than a dozen books. His latest is Loyola's Improbable Ramblers: 55 Years in the Making, available now on Amazon.

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