ANCHORAGE – Junior guard Shawn Roundtree scored 15 points and dished six assists Saturday as Central Michigan claimed the 40th and final championship in GCI Great Alaska Shootout history with a thrilling 75-72 victory over CSU Bakersfield at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Chippewas (5-1) also got 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, three rebounds and two blocks from forward Luke Meyer as they became the only Mid-American Conference school to earn a Shootout title.
Reserve guard Damiyne Durham shot 9 of 16 overall and 6 of 12 from long range as he scored a game-high 24 points for the Roadrunners (4-3). Guard Rickey Holden had 15 points and five assists in the loss, while fellow all-tournament selection Shon Briggs tallied nine points, five rebounds and five assists.
In a fitting ending for the historic tournament, the game went down to the wire after the Roadrunners erased a 55-43 deficit with 14:45 remaining. Central Michigan led 69-65 when Williams hit two free throws at the 4:40 mark, but Briggs answered with two free throws and Durham nailed a corner three-pointer on a feed from Brent Wrapp to give Bakersfield a 70-69 edge.
The game was tied 72-72 after Williams split a pair of charities, and Roundtree was fouled on a three-point attempt on the Chippewas’ next possession. Roundtree made two of his three free throws for what would eventually be the winning points, although the victory wouldn’t come easily.
Bakersfield missed three shots on its next chance, and Central Michigan’s David DiLeo was fouled with 22 seconds remaining. DiLeo made one of two from the line, and Bakersfield’s Justin Davis – who hit the game-winning trey in the semifinals with two seconds remaining – missed a three-pointer and fouled Roundtree on the rebound with six seconds left.
Roundtree missed both free throws and Bakersfield got the rebound, but Durham’s fade-away three-point attempt fell inches short of the rim at the buzzer.
Roundtree was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, while Meyer and Williams also made the all-tournament team. DiLeo had 13 points and six rebounds in Saturday’s finale, and Williams chipped in 12 points and four assists.
Davis finished with 13 points and three steals as Bakersfield – despite the loss – equaled the best Shootout finish for a Western Athletic Conference program. Brigham Young was a WAC member in 1994 when it lost the title game to Minnesota.
2017 GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
Shon Briggs, CSU Bakersfield
Perrion Callandret, Idaho
Joe Chealey, College of Charleston
Chris Galbreath Jr., Sam Houston State
Rickey Holden, CSU Bakersfield
Luke Meyer, Central Michigan
Victor Joseph, Cal Poly
Jacob Lampkin, Alaska Anchorage
Victor Sanders, Idaho
Cecil Williams, Central Michigan
Most Outstanding Player: Shawn Roundtree, Central Michigan