Via K-State Athletics
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Senior Keyontae Johnson’s jumper with 4.7 seconds helped lift Kansas State to a 61-59 win over LSU to capture the 2022 Cayman Islands Classic Championship on Wednesday night before 2,400 fans at The John Gray Gym.
The tournament title was the 17th in school history and the first since winning the 2018 Paradise Jam.
K-State (6-0) had to survive some nervous moments to earn the victory, as both teams called their full allotment of timeouts (2 each) before the last 4.7 seconds played out. LSU (5-1) was able to dribble up the court and seemingly tied the game at 61-all at the buzzer. However, the officials reviewed the play and waved the shot off after they discovered that the clock didn’t start on time and the shot came after the game clock had expired.
Senior Markquis Nowell was named the tournament MVP, while senior Keyontae Johnson was selected to the all-tournament team. Nowell averaged 18.7 points and 9.0 assists in the 3-game tournament, while Johnson averaged a team-best 19.3 points on 53.6 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds per game.
Nowell led all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-14 field goals with 4 assists and 4 rebounds, while Johnson and senior reserve Desi Sills added 16 points each. Sills provided a spark to the Wildcats after Johnson had to leave the game with 13:31 remaining in the game with his fourth personal foul.
Sophomore Cam Carter also proved vital in the victory, snagging a career-high 7 rebounds – all on the defensive end – while posting 6 points, 1 assist and 1 steal in nearly 25 minutes.
K-State moved to 6-0 to start a season for the first time since 2018-19.