ANCHORAGE – Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan scored 10 of his game-high 36 points in the overtime sessions Saturday to power his team to a 90-81, double-overtime victory over Southern Mississippi in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout championship game at Sullivan Arena.
The Racers (7-0) also got 12 points, five rebounds and three assists from all-tournament selection Donte Poole as they remained unbeaten on the year and won the title in their Shootout debut.
The game marked the first double-OT championship affair in the 34-year history of the storied event.
The Golden Eagles (4-2) were led by 29 points and three assists from senior guard Angelo Johnson, who also made the all-tourney team.
Murray State led 39-27 at halftime and took its largest lead on Ivan Aska’s jumper to open the second-half scoring. The Golden Eagles stormed back, however, going on a 16-2 run to tie it on back-to-back layups by Jonathan Mills and Rashard McGill. The Racers answered immediately with a 12-3 spurt of their own to take a 55-46 lead with 10 minutes left, but the Golden Eagles would not fold.
Southern Miss cut its deficit to 69-67 on two free throws by LaShay Page with 59 seconds remaining, and Murray State’s Ivan Aska was fouled on the ensuing possession. Instead of putting his team up by two possessions, however, Aska missed the free throw and Racer guard Donte Poole was called for his fifth foul on the rebound.
McGill coolly sank the tying free throws, and his team got a chance at the win after Aska’s missed jumper with 27 seconds left. Johnson, who shot 10 of 21 from the floor, penetrated the lane, but his short jumper at the buzzer bounced off the iron.
The teams traded three-pointers by Page and Canaan in the second overtime, and the Racers missed a chance at the win when Canaan’s three-pointer bounced off and two Racer teammates could not convert tip attempts.
The Racers scored the first eight points of the second OT – including a running, baseline floater and a corner three-pointer from Canaan – and the Golden Eagles would never get closer than a six-point deficit.
Canaan’s 36 points tied for the 8th-most ever in 405 all-time Shootout games and was the 3rd-highest total in 34 championship games. The senior point guard shot 11 of 22 overall, including 6 of 11 from three-point range, and made all eight of his free throws. He also totaled eight rebounds and four assists to capture the tourney’s Most Outstanding Player honor.
Reserve guard Stacy Wilson had 13 points, two assists and two steals, and guard Jewuan Long had a big all-around performance with 10 points, seven rebounds and a team-high five assists for Murray State. Starting forward Ed Daniel had game-highs of nine rebounds and three blocks as well.
Southern Miss had four players score double figures as Johnson was joined by Page with 16 and reserves Neil Watson and Mills with 12 apiece. Mills also had a team-high eight rebounds.
The Golden Eagles were also making their inaugural Shootout trip.
2011 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout
Maurice Bolden, Southern Miss
Rashad Green, San Francisco
Angelo Johnson, Southern Miss
Christian Kabongo, New Mexico State
Wendell McKines, New Mexico State
LaShay Page, Southern Miss
Donte Poole, Murray State Taylor Rohde, Alaska Anchorage
David Rufful, Dartmouth
Trey Zeigler, Central Michigan Most Outstanding Player: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State