Colorado State claims Top Of The World tournament title
Submitted by Tom Myrick
Returning just two players from the previous season, Colorado State didn't quite know what to expect as they came into the 2007 BP Top of the World Classic.
From here on, however, the expectations will be high for the Rams in their 2007-08 season. Colorado State shocked the tournament field by snatching the Top of the World championship from Portland State. With under 15 seconds to play, tournament MVP Stuart Creason buried a clutch turnaround jumper to give Colorado State a 64-63 victory and the tournament title.
Prior to Creason's heroics, the trophy seemed destined for Portland State's cabinet, as the Vikings had not trailed in the game prior to the last 15 seconds. Portland State led by as many as 12 at one point, and even went into halftime with a comfortable seven-point lead.
The inside presence of Colorado State, particularly Creason, allowed the team to claw their way back into the game. The Rams got 40 points from the paint, 24 of which came during the second half. Creason finished the game 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Willis Gardner put in ten of his game-high 21 points in the second half. Colorado State shot 68 percent of their shots.
Portland State still could have snatched the game, but Dupree Lucas' runner at the buzzer clanked off the back of the rim. Lucas still finished as the Vikings top scorer, with 16. Scott Morrison and Deonte Huff also finished in double-figure scoring, getting 15 and 13 points each, respectively.
In edition to being crowned as champions, Colorado State also put two players on the BP Top of the World Classic all-tournament team, as single-game record-setting scorer Marcus Walker joined Creason in receiving honors. Portland State's Huff and Jeremiah Dominguez were also named to the team.
2007 all-tournament team:
Jeremiah Wood, Akron; Nick Dials, Akron; Mladen Begojevic, UAF; Marcus Walker, Colorado State; George Hill, IUPUI; Marcel Jones, Oregon State; Jeremiah Dominguez, Portland State; Deonte Huff, Portland State; Bruce Price, Tennessee State; Luke Payne, USC Upstate.
Tournament MVP: Stuart Creason, Colorado State