EditorsNote: changed Bey to 10 rebounds in 1st graf, adds “to” in 2nd graf, tweaked 7th graf
Tyler Bey scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots as No. 21 Colorado rallied from a 12-point, second-half deficit to defeat Clemson 71-67 in the championship game of the MGM Resorts Main Event on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
D’Shawn Schwartz scored 12 points, Evan Battey finished with 11 points, and McKinley Wright IV scored all 10 of his points in the second half for the Buffaloes (5-0). Colorado snapped a five-game losing streak to Atlantic Coast Conference teams dating back to a 1991 win over Wake Forest.
Junior Aamir Simms tied his career high with 23 points, Tevin Mack finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, and John Newman III added 16 points for Clemson (5-2). The Tigers fell to 1-11 all time against Pac-12 teams.
Clemson, which reached the final by rallying for a 62-60 overtime victory over TCU on Sunday, built a 25-15 lead with Simms scoring 13 points during that span.
But Colorado, despite not scoring a field goal for more than seven minutes, went on a 12-2 run to close within 28-27 with all the points coming at the free-throw line as the Tigers, whistled for 12 fouls, went into the double bonus. The Buffaloes went 13 of 14 at the line in the half, which ended with Clemson ahead 36-33.
The Tigers used a 14-3 run in the second half to push their lead to 50-38. But Colorado answered with a 16-3 run capped by a steal and dunk by Wright to take its first lead of the game, 54-53, with 7:57 to go.
The Buffaloes then used a 9-0 run highlighted by a corner 3-pointer by Schwartz to take a 69-63 lead with 2:33 remaining. Simms hit one of two free throws and Newman made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 69-67.
Wright sealed the win when he stole the ball from Al-Amir Dawes at the top of the key and then sank a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining.
—Field Level Media