Bradley’s Elijah Childs scored 18 points, including a clutch jumper after Penn State had rallied within two late in the game, leading the Braves to the championship of the Cancun Challenge with a 59-56 victory on Wednesday night in Cancun, Mexico.
Darrell Brown hit three 3-pointers to account for a majority of his 16 points for the Braves (5-1), who outscored the Nittany Lions (3-2) by a 24-12 count from 3-point range.
Penn State not only struggled from long distance, shooting just 4-for-27, but also shooting overall, hitting just 28.8 percent from the floor.
Lamar Stevens led Penn State with 27 points.
The Nittany Lions led 33-32 at halftime and 35-32 one minute into the second half before Childs hit a layup, a 3-pointer and another layup, and Brown added a layup in a 9-0 burst that put Bradley ahead for good at 41-35.
The Nittany Lions chipped away and got within 57-55 on a 3-pointer by Rasir Bolton with 3:55 to go.
Bolton had a chance to put Penn State ahead on its next possession but misfired from 3-point range, and Childs countered with his key jumper that reopened a four-point lead.
The only scoring the rest of the way came on a Stevens free throw for Penn State with one second left.
Brown complemented his 16 points with a game-high five assists for Bradley, which reached the finals by beating SMU 75-62.
Koch Bar chipped in with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Braves.
Stevens’ 27 points came on 7-for-20 shooting and 12-for-14 from the free-throw line. He also tied Bar for game-high rebounding honors with eight.
Bolton added 10 points for Penn State, which beat Wright State 77-59 in the semifinals.
—Field Level Media