St. John’s, Houston, Dayton and Utah win on 1st day of Charleston Classic

Houston's Ja'Vier Francis (5) and Jamal Shead (1) challenge the shot of Towson's Mekhi Lowery...
Houston's Ja'Vier Francis (5) and Jamal Shead (1) challenge the shot of Towson's Mekhi Lowery (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C., Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)(Mic Smith | AP)
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 12:44 AM EST
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Jenkins puts up 17 as St. John’s knocks off North Texas 53-52 in Charleston Classic

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Daniss Jenkins scored 17 points as St. John’s beat North Texas 53-52 on Thursday in the Charleston Classic.

Joel Soriano made two free throws with 1:11 remaining to cap the scoring.

Jenkins had five rebounds for the Red Storm (2-1). Soriano scored 11 points and added 12 rebounds and five blocks. Glenn Taylor Jr. shot 3 for 9, including 1 for 4 from beyond the arc to finish with seven points.

The Mean Green (2-1) were led by Aaron Scott, who recorded 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Jason Edwards added nine points for North Texas. In addition, Rubin Jones finished with eight points.

Dayton rallies from 15-point deficit to beat LSU on Nate Santos’ 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Nate Santos scored 19 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left, and Dayton rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat LSU 70-67 on Thursday in the Charleston Classic.

Dayton trailed 60-45 with 9:07 left after LSU guard Jalen Reed converted a three-point play. But the Flyers turned up the defensive pressure during a 19-2 run to take a 64-62 lead with 3:42 left.

Dayton guard Koby Brea made a 3-pointer with 48.2 seconds left to tie it at 67-all. Trae Hannibal dribbled into a triple team at the other end and was called for traveling. After a timeout with 15.5 left, Javon Bennett got to the edge of the paint and passed it out to an open Santos for the winner. Carlos Stewart did not hit the rim on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Dayton (2-1) plays St. John’s in the semifinals on Friday. LSU (1-2) faces North Texas in the consolation bracket.

Bennett finished with 16 points and Brea added 13 for Dayton, which was 11 of 34 from 3-point range. Santos, a Pitt transfer, also had nine rebounds and three steals.

Reed scored 16 points, Tyrell Ward added 12 points and Will Baker had 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for LSU (1-2).

LSU took the first double-digit lead of the game after scoring the opening eight points of the second half. After two Dayton free throws, the Tigers scored six straight points to make it 46-32 with 15:46 left.

Branden Carlson scores career-high 31, Utah rallies from 12-point deficit to beat Wake Forest 77-70

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Branden Carlson scored a career-high 31 points and Utah rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to beat Wake Forest 77-70 on Thursday night in the Charleston Classic.

Wake Forest led 45-33 early in the second half until a 17-3 run gave Utah (3-0) a 68-63 lead with 4:21 remaining. Lawson Lovering’s three-point play sparked the surge. Cole Bajema made a pair of 3-pointers and Carlson added a 3 and a dunk.

Carlson was 12-of-20 shooting, hit four of Utah’s eight shots from long range and blocked five shots. Bajema finished with 11 points and Lovering 10. Eight Utes grabbed at least three of its 38 rebounds.

Hunter Sallis scored 20 points to lead Wake Forest (1-2). Cameron Hildreth added 14 points, Andrew Carr had 13 and Zach Keller 10.

Wake Forest shot 53% in the first half and built a 41-31 halftime lead. Hildreth scored 14 first-half points but was 0 of 4 from the floor in the second half.

Utah made half its field goals (30 of 60) while the Demon Deacons finished 47% shooting (28 of 60) overall.

Wake Forest hosts Charleston Southern on Nov. 24.

Utah plays at Saint Mary’s on Nov. 27.

Cryer has 18 points to lead No. 6 Houston to 65-49 victory over Towson at the Charleston Classic

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — LJ Cryer scored 18 points and No. 6 Houston used a 19-4 run in the first half to take control on the way to a 65-49 victory over Towson on Thursday night to advance in the Charleston Classic.

Emmanuel Sharp added 14 points. He and Cryer each had three of Houston’s seven 3-pointers. Roberts finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Cougars, a No. 1 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, have opened strong this season. They started with three victories by 30 points or more before heading to Charleston, then leading Towson by 25 points midway through the second half.

Towson struggled to find its shot, especially from the outside, where it made just four of 15 attempts from behind the arc.

Christian May had 10 points for the Tigers.