LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Martinas Geben hit two free throws with 2.3 seconds left and No. 13 Notre Dame rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat No. 6 Wichita State, 67-66, in the Maui Invitational championship game on Wednesday night.
Notre Dame (6-0) trailed most of the game, but clawed its way back, by slowing the high-scoring Shockers (4-1) and working the ball inside on offense.
The Irish pulled within one, but Landry Shamet, having a quiet scoring night, put the Shockers up 64-61 with a running jumper with 1:24 left.
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame’s preseason All-America, cut it back to one on a jumper in the lane. Again, Shamet answered, on a pull-up jumper in the lane and Colson airballed a 3-pointer, but scored on a layup after Matt Farrell stole the inbounds pass.
Zach Brown blocked Farrell’s layup, but the Irish got the ball on a baseline inbounds play. Geben cut to the basket and was fouled by Shaquille Morris. He hit both free throws and Wichita State fumbled away its last possession.
Colson finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds in Notre Dame’s first Maui title.
Brown led the Shockers with 14 points.
The Maui Invitational has a history of having marquee matchups in the title game and this one was no different.
Wichita State and Notre Dame were the only ranked teams in the field, a pair of programs loaded with talent, depth and Final Four aspirations.
The Irish flexed their muscles in overpowering their first two Maui opponents, crushing Division II Chaminade and LSU.
The Shockers had a little rougher ride in their opener, needing to rally from 18 down to beat California before rolling over Marquette in the semifinals.
Their meeting in the title game matched two of the nation’s most efficient offenses.
Wichita State happens to be pretty good on defense, too, and muddled things up for the Irish in the early going, denying passes, contesting perimeter shots and clogging the paint on the Irish’s drives.
The Shockers were just as good on offense, building an 11-point lead midway through the first half and going up 37-23 at halftime after making 15 of 30 shots, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range.
Notre Dame started going inside in the second half and tightened up on defense, scratching the Shockers’ lead down to 55-50.
A banked-in 3-pointer by T.J. Gibbs and a traditional one by Colson made it a three-point game with 5 minutes left.
Trailing all night, the Irish were back in it — and made the most of it.
Wichita State held its own with one the nation’s best teams, doing it with forward Markis McDuffie still out with a foot injury.
Notre Dame showed a lot of grit in its first real test of the season, fighting its way back to beat a top-10 team.
Wichita State hosts Savannah State on Tuesday.
Notre Dame plays at No. 4 Michigan State on Nov. 30.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.