McClanahan buzzer beater gives Hawaii first title over SMU

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Hawaii SMU Diamond Head
The Hawaii bench reacts after guard JoVon McClanahan (3) makes a 3-point shot to put Hawaii ahead of SMU at the end of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Honolulu. Hawaii defeated SMU 58-57 to win the Diamond Head Classic tournament. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

HONOLULU (AP) — Jovan McClanahan gave Hawaii fans in general and Rainbow Warriors fans in particular a delayed Christmas present , hitting a long, contested 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 58-57 win over SMU on Sunday night in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic.

McClanahan’s shot, after he weaved up the court before launching his shot a couple steps behind the 3-point line, gave Hawaii its first tournament title in the event it hosts.

Hawaii pulled within 2 with less than 2 minutes left

After Noel Coleman’s 3-pointer pulled Hawaii within 57-55 with 1:41 to play, the teams traded misses and then turnovers before SMU’s Zhuric Phelps was fouled with eight seconds to go. Phelps missed the front end of a one-and-one but Samuta Avea promptly turned the ball over for Hawaii.

Samuell Williams was fouled with fives seconds to play but he, too, missed the front end of the one-and-one. The Rainbow Warriors called a timeout before McClanahan worked his way up court and getting fouled after he released the shot.

Hawaii SMU Diamond Head

It was Hawaii’s first lead since 18-15. SMU led 31-22 at the half and by as many as 12 in the second half. The lead was 46-36 midway through the second half.

Bernardo Da Silva and Beon Riley both had 13 points to lead Hawaii (9-3). McClanahan had five points.

Phelps had 20 points to lead the Mustangs (5-8) and Zach Nutall added 15. Williams had 10 rebounds. SMU was 5 of 9 from the foul line, 4 of 6 in the second half.