Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) is accustomed to hooping in sandy, sunny, seaside environs. As such, maybe it shouldn’t be too surprising that the Eagles finished the Cancun Challenge’s Mayan Tournament 3-0, defeating South Florida, Notre Dame and South Dakota State (SDSU).
To do so, they had to take down a Notre Dame team that, while struggling this season, still carries reputational cachet. FGCU next knocked off then-No. 21 South Florida before the Jacks of SDSU gave the Eagles all they could handle in the tournament’s final tilt.
SDSU used their brand of bully ball to ground FGCU’s fast-paced, 3-point flinging attack. The Jacks patrolled the paint, scoring 44 points inside. The Eagles, in contrast, netted 13 threes. With less than a minute to play, it appeared bully ball would triumph over the 3-ball, as the Jacks led by five points with just over thirty second to play. Yet, because of the power of the three, a 68-63 lead was not secure.
Redshirt senior guard Davion Wingate hit a three for the Eagles. On the next possession, she was fouled on a 3-point attempt. At the line, she coolly drained all three attempts. The Jacks responded by going inside to sophomore forward Myah Selland who took it straight to the hoop to take back the lead, 70-69.
FGCU graduate student transfer Ashli O’Neal flew up the floor, scoring on a streaking layup with six seconds to play. A final three from SDSU fell short. Eagles win, 71-70.
WHAT A FINISH! @FGCU_WBB Ashli O'Neal hits a layup with 6 seconds on the clock and a three-pointer falls short as the buzzer sounds. Eagles win 71-70. #CancunHoops pic.twitter.com/l5ZInhh1Pa— Cancun Challenge (@CancunChallenge) November 30, 2019
FGCU senior forward Ty Adderly was named tournament MVP, while teammate Keri Jewett-Giles also was named to the Mayan All-Tournament Team. From SDSU, Selland and Paiton Burckhard earned All-Tournament honors. South Florida’s Elena Tsineke and Notre Dame’s Anaya Peoples rounded out the team.
Congrats to our Mayan All-Tournament Team! And good luck to everyone this season!! #CancunHoops pic.twitter.com/qKJ7OKgVbJ— Cancun Challenge (@CancunChallenge) November 30, 2019
In the Riviera Tournament, Creighton showed class, finishing 2-0 behind a pair of strong performances from senior forward Jaylyn Agnew. Agnew dropped a career-high 34 points as the Blue Jays topped the then-No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers 82-75. She then worked her way to 15 points in Creighton’s 69-59 win over Temple.
It's a new career-high 34 points for Jaylyn Agnew of @CreightonWBB! pic.twitter.com/rk3CcQuRn0— Cancun Challenge (@CancunChallenge) November 29, 2019
Agnew headlined the Riviera All-Tournament Team. Other honorees were Temple’s Shannen Atkinson, Missouri’s Hayley Frank, West Virginia’s Kysre Gondrezick, New Mexico’s Shaiquel McGruder and North Carolina’s Madinah Muhammad, who also was named the Riviera Tournament MVP.
Shoutout to our Riviera Division All-Tournament Team!!— Cancun Challenge (@CancunChallenge) November 30, 2019
Thank you for coming and good luck this season #CancunHoops pic.twitter.com/CInAIO3ygH
Due to Muhammad’s on-point shooting and scoring, UNC also left Cancun 2-0. The redshirt senior guard poured in 17 first-half points, and 20 overall, to power the Tar Heels past the Temple Owls 71-58. She followed that up with a 24-point effort, propelling North Carolina to an 82-69 win over Mizzou.
Muhammad with back-to-back 3s for @uncwbb to start the game. #CancunHoops pic.twitter.com/MiY5HCg2IR— Cancun Challenge (@CancunChallenge) November 29, 2019
Here are the results of all the Cancun contests:
Thursday, Nov. 28
South Dakota State 61, South Florida 50
Florida Gulf Coast 69, Notre Dame 60
Creighton 82, West Virginia 75
Friday, Nov. 29
South Dakota State 65, Notre Dame 59
Florida Gulf Coast 81, South Florida 77
West Virginia 73, New Mexico 60
North Carolina 82, Missouri 69
Saturday, Nov. 30
Notre Dame 67, South Florida 51