San Diego State rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to beat Iowa 83-73 on Friday in the championship game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena.
Malachi Flynn sparked the comeback scoring 28 points, all in the second half, as the Aztecs remained perfect at 8-0.
After trailing 37-21 with just over three minutes to go in the first half, the Aztecs trailed at halftime by nine at 41-32.
San Diego State came out after halftime and outscored Iowa 15-4 to take a 47-45 lead on a 3-pointer by Yanni Wetzell.
Connor McCaffery’s 3-pointer put the Hawkeyes (5-2) in front 48-47, but it would be Iowa’s final lead of the game as Wetzell put the Aztecs ahead for good with a layup.
Flynn’s 3-pointer gave the Aztecs a 61-54 advantage at the 10:24 mark.
The Hawkeyes got within two at 61-59 on two free throws by Ryan Kriener, but the Aztecs went back up by six points on Flynn’s free throws.
After taking just three shots in the first half, and missing each one, Flynn finished the game 8-for-16. He added five rebounds and four assists.
Jordan Schakel and Wetzell each scored 14 points for the Aztecs. Matt Mitchell added 11 points and KJ Feagin chipped in with 10.
CJ Fredrick led the Hawkeyes with 16 points. McCaffery tossed in 15, and Joe Toussaint finished with 13 points.
San Diego State made 51.9 percent of its field-goal attempts, compared to Iowa’s 40.4 percent.
Both teams put on a clinic from the free-throw line, with the Hawkeyes making 18 of 20 attempts while the Aztecs were 18-for-19.
The Hawkeyes were in control midway through the first half and leading 20-19 when Toussaint ignited a 9-0 spurt with a fast-break layup after a steal by Jordan Bohannaon.
Toussaint closed the run with a layup, giving the Hawkeyes a double-digit lead at 29-19.
Mitchell ended the Aztecs’ scoring drought, which lasted more than six minutes.
But Iowa reeled off eight straight points with Kriener’s layup giving Iowa a 37-21 advantage with just over three minutes left in the half.
—Field Level Media