Gardner-Webb opens 2K Sports Classic with win over Alabama A&M
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—Aaron Linn had 24 points and Gardner-Webb cruised to a 69-55 victory over Alabama A&M Tuesday in the first round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.
Gardner-Webb (1-0) advances to play No. 20 Kentucky on Wednesday night. The Wildcats beat Central Arkansas 67-40 in the other opening round game. Alabama A&M (0-1) will play Central Arkansas in the consolation matchup.
Linn was 3-of-6 from 3-point range, compared to 2-for-11 for the rest of the team.
Trailing 18-17 late in the first half, the Bulldogs scored the next six points, including two free throws by Linn that gave them the lead for good.
The sloppy game, played in front of just a scattering of fans at Rupp Arena awaiting the nightcap featuring Kentucky, included a combined 48 turnovers resulting in 33 points.
Alabama A&M hit just 35 percent of its shots from the field, compared with 36 percent for Gardner-Webb.
Gardner-Webb’s Thomas Sanders had a game-high 14 rebounds but was only 3-of-18 from the field.
No Alabama A&M player scored in double digits. Evan Hilton led the team with nine points, and Mickell Gladness had 10 rebounds.
The winner of the Lexington regional of the tournament benefiting Coaches Vs. Cancer will advance to the semifinals Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Oklahoma, Memphis and Connecticut are hosting the other regionals.