Elias Harris named tournament MVP; 2013 field to feature Memphis and Butler
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 25, 2012) – The No. 17 Gonzaga Bulldogs captured the program’s second Old Spice Classic Championship title Sunday, defeating the Davidson Wildcats 81-67 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.
“It’s really neat to be able to come and defend our title. Our program has been lucky enough to play in a lot of these now, but to come back and defend our title and for all the families to have a good time is really cool,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few.
Gonzaga battled past Clemson (57-49) and Oklahoma (72-47) in the first two rounds of the Old Spice Classic to go 3-0 at the annual Division I men’s basketball tournament for the second time. The Bulldogs also won the 2008 tournament championship against Tennessee. Davidson topped Vanderbilt (75-62) and West Virginia (63-60) in rounds one and two before falling to Gonzaga in the title game.
“It was a really good week for us. We got tested in a variety of ways. Both with how the games flowed, but also with the different schemes and matchups that we faced,” Few said.
The Bulldogs had three players with double figures, led by the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, senior forward Elias Harris, who posted 24 points and 10 rebounds. Harris went 9-11 inside the perimeter and made six of seven free throw attempts. Sophomore guard Kevin Pangos was equally as impressive, going 5-9 from downtown and scoring 23 points with five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Junior forward and All-Tournament team selection Kelly Olynyk added another 14 points to Gonzaga’s total.
“They’ve got some terrific offensive firepower,” said Davidson coach Bob McKillop. “They beat you at every spot. I thought they defend very well, too.”
Davidson put up its numbers with help from seniors Nik Cochran and Jake Cohen and junior De’Mon Brooks. Forwards Cohen and Brooks scored 13 and 12 respectively, while Cochran’s 17 points earned the guard a spot on the All-Tournament team. Also on the Old Spice Classic All-Tournament team were Oklahoma’s Romero Osby and Clemson’s Milton Jennings.
Gonzaga joins previous Old Spice Classic Champions Dayton (2011), Notre Dame (2010), Florida State (2009), North Carolina State (2007) and Arkansas (2006).
The 2013 Old Spice Classic field includes Memphis, Butler, Oklahoma State, LSU, Purdue, Washington State, Saint Joseph’s and Siena.