DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Senior Danyon Hempy scored a career-high 32 points, and his free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining put The College of Wooster men's basketball team up by two possessions in its 94-90 win over The College at Brockport, State University of New York on Monday afternoon in the championship game of the Mauro Panaggio Tournament.
Wooster (7-1), which overcame an eight-point deficit over the final five minutes, took the lead with 2:04 remaining. Hempy, who was the tournament MVP, put the Fighting Scots on top with a baseline drive that ended with a dunk in traffic. Junior Keonn Scott secured a key defensive rebound with 1:33 remaining, and that led to sophomore Brandon Styers getting fouled in transition. Styers knocked down three free throws and had two crucial rebounds down the stretch.
The Scots led by six at two junctures over the final 30 ticks. First, senior Trenton Tipton's fast-break layup bumped the lead out to 89-83 with 27 seconds left. Next, a Scott free throw made it a 92-86 contest with 11.4 seconds to go.
Brockport (7-2) closed within 92-90 with 6.2 ticks left, as Danny Ashley knocked down a pair of free throws. Wooster navigated Brockport's press with ease, and Tyler Collins' closing speed forced Hempy to get the job done at the line versus having a chance for a breakaway dunk.
|Wooster's won the Mauro Panaggio Tournament both times the Scots have played in it.|
Tipton provided the spark for the strong closing stretch. He knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions, which pulled Wooster within 79-77 with 4:15 to go. The Scots' forward stepped up defensively, as he helped Scott double team Collins, and the Golden Eagles' guard wasn't able to maintain possession.
At the second half's onset, Hempy and Scott led Wooster on a 10-4 run over the first 3:06. Hempy's jumper from outside the paint pushed Wooster ahead 53-49. Brockport's Tyree Grimsley laid in a fast-break bucket to pull the Golden Eagles within two at 53-51, and a single possession separated the teams until 9:03 remained in the game.
In the first half, Hempy was fouled on a three-pointer with 12:01 on the clock, and after his trip to the charity stripe, Wooster's lead was bumped out to six at 20-14, marking the Scots' largest advantage of the half. Brockport started to pull away, and was up 41-34 with 3:01 to go, but Scott heated up with three field goals in the final 2:23, including a three-pointer just before the buzzer, which pulled the Scots within 45-43 at the half.
Hempy finished 10-of-13 from the floor and 10-of-12 at the charity stripe. He corralled eight rebounds, dished out four assists, and swatted aside four shots. Of note, he's the sixth Scot with five career 30-point games.
Scott, who joined Hempy on the all-tournament team, upped his career-high to 26 points. He was 9-of-16 from the floor, matched his career-high with six assists, and had a steal.
Wooster shot a season-high 55.0 percent from the floor (33-of-60). The Scots were 9-of-19 from three-point range, 19-of-26 at the line, and logged assists on 20-of-33 field goals.
Justin Summers finished with 24 points for Brockport. He also was the co-team-leader in rebounds at six.
Brockport was 34-of-72 (47.2 percent) from the field, 4-of-22 from beyond the arc, and finished with a plus two edge (38-36) in rebounding.
Of note, Wooster's won the Mauro Panaggio Tournament both years the Scots have been a participating team.
Next, Wooster hosts one of the longest-running small college basketball tournaments – the E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic, which is also serving as this year's Great Lakes Invitational. The eight-team classic tips off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 28. Wooster's slated to play Keene State College (3-5) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 16th-ranked Whitworth University (5-1) at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Fans can gain half-price admission with the donation of new or gently-worn clothing items for Goodwill Industries.