CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Teshaun Hightower scored 16 points and hit the go-ahead layup with a minute left, and Tulane beat Utah 65-61 on Sunday in the fifth-place game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
K.J. Lawson added 14 points and Jordan Walker finished with 12 to help the Green Wave (5-1), who closed on a 10-0 run while hitting nine of their final 11 shots to finish the tournament 2-1.
Timmy Allen and Branden Carlson each scored 14 points for Utah (4-2). Freshman Rylan Jones finished with 11 points and hit a 3-pointer to put the Utes up 61-55 with 4½ minutes left — but they didn’t score again.
Walker hit two jumpers during the decisive run, including one that tied it at 61 with just over two minutes left. He rimmed out a jumper on the next trip downcourt but Hightower cleaned it up with a left-handed layup that put the Green Wave ahead to stay.
The Utes had two chances to tie it in the final minute. Jones’ baseline jumper bounced off the rim with about 16 seconds left and his contested jumper from the left wing hit off the front of the rim and went to Hightower with 5.5 seconds left.
Christion Thompson iced it with two free throws with 2.0 seconds left.
Tulane: The Green Wave will leave the Myrtle Beach area on a high note after beating Middle Tennessee and Utah in their final two games. They got back to doing what they do well, forcing 20 turnovers and turning them into 18 points, and gave first-year coach Ron Hunter his 450th career victory.
Utah: This 1-2 finish to this cross-country trip will wind up being one of those tough lessons the young Utes needed to learn before getting into the heart of Pac-12 play. With 12 new players, an adjustment period was certainly expected.
Tulane: Plays host to Southern on Dec. 1.
Utah: Plays host to UC Davis on Friday night.
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