Maurice Evans made the selection of a tournament MVP an easy one Monday night. The Wichita State freshman hit a three-pointer to snap a tie and help the Shockers beat the University at Buffalo, 79-69, in the final of the Cessna Classic.
The game was played before 7,416 at Levitt Arena.
Evans shot 7 of 10 from the field and finished with 23 points. His three-pointer broke a 66-66 tie and was the start of a 13-3 run.
"We battled back, as we have done so many times before, to tie the game, but Evans' three-pointer really changed the momentum," said UB coach Tim Cohane. "We didn't execute the way we're capable in the final four minutes."
Wichita State led, 38-35, at halftime and built its lead to as many as nine points, 60-51, with 9:16 left. UB (7-5) went on a 15-6 run to tie it at 66-66 on a layup by Rasaun Young with 4:38 to go.
Making the all-tournament team for UB was Young, who had 20 points, and Mike Martinho, with 19.
"This gives us a good barometer as to where we are heading into our conference play full time now," said Cohane. "We're very close to where we want to be, but we haven't been able to get over the hump in some very close road games."
Wichita State, which had shot 55.1 percent from the line this season, made 17 of 18 free throws in the second half, and was 10 of 11 in the last 3:24.
UB plays host to Oral Roberts at Alumni Arena at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.
No. 1 cruises; No. 2 struggles
No. 1 North Carolina was well on its way to a victory before the first half was over. No. 2 Kansas couldn't breathe easy until the final seconds.
Antawn Jamison scored 22 points and Carter added 18 in his homecoming as North Carolina remained undefeated with a 97-46 victory over Bethune-Cookman.
The Tar Heels (14-0) bolted to an 11-0 lead 4:10 into the game, were ahead by 28 at halftime and won for the 30th time in their last 31 games.
Kansas, meanwhile, found itself tied with Vanderbilt with a little under three minutes left in Honolulu before pulling away for an 89-82 victory in the Rainbow Classic.
Jamison and Carter combined to hit 13 of their first 15 shots, but Carter left the game with a cut under his eye with 13:46 left. The Tar Heels also lost inside player Makhtar Ndiaye to a right ankle injury two minutes earlier.
By that time, the Tar Heels had a 40-point lead.
Five of Carter's first six baskets were slam dunks, two on alley-oops from Ed Cota and another on a spectacular reverse slam on a fast break.
"I wasn't trying to make this a special day, a special game or anything like that," Carter said.
The 6-foot-7 junior was presented the key to the city by mayor Bud Asher on Sunday, which was declared "Vince Carter Day." He played his prep ball at nearby Mainland High School.
Meanwhile, Paul Pierce took charge down the stretch as Kansas, after blowing a 20-point second half lead, barely hung on.
The Jayhawks (16-1) will meet Hawaii (9-1) in tonight's championship game.
Kansas appeared to have the game under control, leading 59-39 five minutes into the second half and almost scoring at will. But the Commodores (10-2) put on a startling rally, and Drew Maddux's three-pointer with 2:46 left tied the game at 80.
Syracuse game postponed
SYRACUSE -- Tonight's Big East game between Pittsburgh and 19th-ranked Syracuse was postponed because of the storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on the area. The game has not yet been rescheduled.
Around the rim
Kris Weems scored 17 points, including four free throws in the final 1:20 and No. 7 Stanford hung on to beat 24th-ranked Rhode Island, 70-69, in the first round of the Cable Car Classic. . . . No. 12 New Mexico set a school record with 18 three-pointers, 12 of them by guards Kevin Henry and Royce Olney, to beat Holy Cross, 112-61, in the Lobo Invitational. . . . Carlos Bradberry (LaSalle) hit six free throws in the final 36.8 seconds to help New Hampshire (5-5) hold off Cornell, 56-51, in the Golden Bear Classic's consolation game. . . . Jarod Stevenson scored 18 points as Richmond defeated UNC-Asheville, 71-55, in the first round of the Dr. Pepper Classic. Richmond (5-3), led by former Canisius coach John Beilein, will face UNC-Greensboro today in the championship game. UNC-Greensboro defeated Chattanooga, 78-70, as Larry Gilbert (City Honors) scored 10 points, including the go-ahead basket with 3:29 remaining.