Georgia Tech falls to Nevada 72-64 in Diamond Head Classic championship


HONOLULU (AP) — Kenan Blackshear finished with 30 points and Jarod Lucas scored 20 to lead Nevada to a 72-64 victory over Georgia Tech in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic on Sunday night.

Blackshear made 11 of 14 shots from the floor and 8 of 11 from the free-throw line for the Wolf Pack (12-1), who have won five in a row. Lucas sank 7 of 13 shots, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Nick Davidson pitched in with nine points and eight rebounds.

Baye Ndongo totaled 20 points and eight rebounds to pace the Yellow Jackets (8-4), who had a four-game win streak snapped. Miles Kelly scored 10 on 3-for-15 shooting, including 1 for 9 from distance. Georgia Tech has not won five in a row since November 2021.

Lucas sank two 3-pointers and scored 10, Blackshear scored nine and hit a jumper with one second left to give Nevada a 36-30 lead at halftime. Kelly and Ndongo both had eight points at the half for Georgia Tech.

The Wolf Pack maintained the lead throughout the second half although Georgia Tech closed within a point on three occasions. Kowacie Reeves Jr. had a three-point play to pull the Yellow Jackets within 64-62 with 2:38 left to play. Blackshear nailed a jumper at the 1:20 mark and hit two free throws with 37 seconds to go to push Nevada's lead to two possessions.

Nevada won its third tournament under coach Steve Alford — also winning the 2019 Paradise Jam and the 2021 Crossover Classic.

The Yellow Jackets, under first-year coach Damon Stoudamire, were looking to win a tournament for the first time since the 2003 Preseason NIT. Stoudamire lost all four matchups with Nevada while he was the coach of the Pacific Tigers, prior to taking the Georgia Tech job.

In the only other meeting between the schools, Georgia Tech beat Nevada in the semifinal of the 2004 St. Louis Regional in the NCAA Tournament.

Georgia Tech is off until Jan. 3 when the Yellow Jackets travel to play Florida State in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup. Nevada returns home to play Fresno Pacific on Saturday.