2018-19 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 5, 2019 -- Imhotep and McEachern closed the 2019 portion of the Cancer Research Classic. Both teams were playing in their second contest of the weekend, but Imhotep was hoping to even its mark while the Indians were hoping to remain unbeaten on the year.
The Panthers, in the early going, looked to be more crisp on Saturday after a lackluster performance on Friday night in a loss to Sunrise Christian. Imhotep took a convincing 31-16 lead into the locker room and led by as many as 17 points in the 1st half before junior Sharife Cooper decided enough was enough.
Cooper, who scored just two points in the opening half on 1-of-7 shooting, electrified the remaining onlookers inside WesBanco Arena. The 6-foot-1 junior exploded for 23 points in the next 16 minutes, which included a 7-of-9 showing from the field encompassed by a trio of three-pointers. On the back, of Cooper, the Indians were able to erase the 15-point halftime deficit and escape with another comeback victory to the tune of 61-58.
Xavier signee Dahmir Bishop was cooking in the 1st half scoring 14 points. Senior Jamil Riggins added seven counters allowing the Panthers to build what seemed to be a comfortable margin.
After scoring just 16 points in the 1st half, Mike Thompson’s team nearly tripled that amount in the next 16 minutes. McEachern was just 6-of-23 from the field in the opening two quarters. Not only did Cooper erupt, but senior Alyn Breed helped by adding eight points to a five-point 1st half.
The winners shot close to 60 percent from the field in the 2nd half making six three-point goals in 12 attempts and cashing in 11-of-12 freebies. McEachern’s decisive 25-11 advantage in the eight minutes following halftime set up the Indians to strike in the 4th quarter.
Despite the onslaught from the Georgia-based school, Riggins and Maryland signee Donta Scott did their best to keep the Panthers ahead but ultimately it wasn’t enough.
Cooper, the game’s MVP, finished with 25 points and six rebounds, but did commit seven turnovers and Breed added 13 points and five assists. Senior Quinton McElroy totaled eight points, but found it tough from the field at just 3-of-12. Jarod Jones, who is a Northwestern commitment, scored eight points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds along with controlling the paint on the defensive end. Isaac Okoro, after a monster game on Friday, finished with just seven points on only five shot attempts, but did manage to corral eight strays and hand out four assists.
Riggins paced Imhotep with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go along with five boards. Bishop followed with 15 points and seven rebounds and Scott accumulated 14 points.
McEachern held a distinct advantage at the foul line going 13-of-15 compared to just a 4-of-9 showing for the Philly-based school. The two teams combined for 18 three-point field goals.