ANCHORAGE – Sam Cassell Jr. scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half and backcourt mate Jon Severe banked in the game-winning layup with half a second remaining Saturday to lift Iona to the GCI Great Alaska Shootout title with a 75-73 win over Nevada at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The Gaels (3-2) also got 15 points and eight rebounds from forward Jordan Washington as they became the first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference program to win the nation’s oldest regular-season college basketball tournament, which completed its 39th edition.

The Wolf Pack (5-2) were led by 21 points from senior guard Marcus Marshall, plus 13 points and 10 rebounds from forward Elijah Foster, in a title-game classic that featured nine ties, six lead changes, and no double-figure leads.

After rallying from a 10-point deficit for a 91-76 home win over the same Iona team just six days ago, Nevada found itself trailing again at the half, 35-30, on Saturday. The Gaels took a 43-35 advantage before Marshall – a transfer from Missouri State – rallied the Wolf Pack, hitting two straight jumpers to take a 50-48 lead midway through the second half.

Marshall’s two free throws gave Nevada a 57-56 edge with 6:52 left, but the Gaels finally hit their stride from long range, with Severe sandwiching two three-pointers around one from Cassell to take a 65-60 lead.

Iona led 73-67 before D.J. Fenner sliced the lead in half with a trey at the 58-second mark, and Washington missed a jumper at the other end. After two timeouts, Nevada got the ball to Marshall, whose rainbow trey swished through with 11 seconds left, and the Gaels called timeout at halfcourt with six seconds showing.

Severe – who had been scoreless through the game’s first 33 minutes – took the inbounds pass and drove to his left, rattling home a soft layup at the clock hit 0:00.5. Nevada got a three-quarters court inbounds pass to Oliver, who could not get a potential game-winning attempt off in time.

Cassell was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after shooting 6 of 10 from long range and dishing five assists in Saturday’s win.

NOTES: Making its fourth trip to the Shootout all-time, Iona returned to the title game for the first time since the second annual tournament in 1979, when it lost 57-50 to Kentucky ... Iona improved to 7-5 all-time at the tournament, joining Purdue, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Kentucky, Marquette, Louisville, Duke, Kansas, Syracuse, UAB and Washington as the only visiting programs with seven or more Shootout wins.

2016 GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
Lindsey Drew, Nevada
Blake Hamilton, Buffalo
Marcus Marshall, Nevada
Diante Mitchell, Alaska Anchorage
Chima Moneke, UC Davis
Cameron Oliver, Nevada
Nick Perkins, Buffalo
Jeremy Senglin, Weber State
Jon Severe, Iona
Martez Walker, Oakland
Most Outstanding Player: Sam Cassell Jr., Iona