The two first-year tournaments drew 15 teams from 14 schools in 12 states as tourney entries descended into this relaxed seaside setting from the Pacific Northwest to Florida and from the East Coast to Southern California for a week of basketball fun and sun. The state of the art International Convention Center of Puerto Vallarta was the tournament site.
Connor Sports Flooring, an official sponsor of the tournament, manufactured a unique new tournament game floor based on the legendary Boston Celtics playing court. The parquet floor is the only one of its type to be used in any collegiate pre-season or post-season tournament. The practice floor itself had been used previously in the 2012 NCAA regional tournament games.
The men's tournament included early round games north of the border at campus sites of the competing schools as Missouri State University, University of South Carolina, Southern Methodist University and University of Arkansas-Little Rock each had two home games before moving south of the border to Mexico for the final two games of the event.
Rider University claimed the crown for the group of schools which traveled in the first two rounds, as the Broncs of coach Kevin Baggett knocked off Jacksonville University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Puerto Vallarta to claim the Coach Rick Majerus Championship Trophy for south of the border play.The Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina and coach Frank Martin claimed an overtime win over Missouri State and then beat Arkansas-Little Rock in Puerto Vallarta for the title of the men's event for schools which had hosted early games. They claimed the Coach Charlie Spoonhour Championship Trophy.
The men's all-tournament team included Anthony Downing of Missouri State, Anthony Myles of Rider University, Will Neighbour of University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Nick Russell of Southern Methodist University and Lakeem Jackson of South Carolina.
The Most Outstanding Player and member of the all-tournament team was LaShay Page of South Carolina. The Tyler Dunn Hero Award went to tournament manager Sandra Strohm.
The championship trophies for the two divisions of the men's event were named in honor of long-time Division I coaching legends the late Rick Majerus and the late Charlie Spoonhour.
PlanBC3 has had the vision for the past two years to put on the tournaments with a goal of creating awareness and monetary assistance for the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation (NUCDF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the identification, treatment and cure of urea cycle disorders. UCD's are caused by genetic mutations resulting in the deficiency of one of six enzymes in the urea cycle which are responsible for the removing ammonia from the bloodstream. Failure of the system to remove the ammonia can result in irreversible brain damage or death.
Tournament sponsors for the event in Puerto Vallarta included Connor Sports Flooring, the Missouri Valley Conference, North American Travel, Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Occidental Grand Nuevo Hotel Vallarta, Triple Threat Travel, Corona Extra, NUCDF and PlanBC3.
The tournament staff included about three dozen volunteers from all over the country and fans of all 14 schools followed their teams to Mexico. The teams and their staffs were treated to a lavish welcome celebration dinner on the eve of each tournament on the grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel.
Preparations and team selection are under way for the 2013 editions of the two tournaments as the events will get only bigger and better. Those teams will be announced in early 2013.
HOOPS FOR HOPE CLASSIC (Men) GAME SUMMARY:
Sunday, November 11
South Carolina 82, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 75
Monday, November 19
Arkansas-Little Rock 59, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 43
Jacksonville 64, Missouri State 58
Southern Methodist 81, Malone 47
South Carolina 88, Rider 76
Wednesday, November 21
Arkansas-Little Rock 78, Jacksonville 56
Missouri State 82, Malone 49
Southern Methodist 83, Rider 70
Friday, November 23
Rider 86, Jacksonville 71
Saturday, November 24
Jacksonville 71, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 66
South Carolina 74, Missouri State 67, OT
Arkansas-Little Rock 69, Southern Methodist 56
Sunday, November 25
Rider 74, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 60
Southern Methodist 62, Missouri State 61
South Carolina 74, Arkansas-Little Rock 62
The Most Outstanding Player (M.O.P.) award went to California State University at Northridge wing Stephan Hicks who averaged a tournament best 18.8 points per game. Joining him on the All-Tournament team was teammate Josh Green(16.0 ppg), forward Rashad Smith of Tulsa (16.7 ppg), forward O.D. Anosike of Siena (16.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg), and the backcourt tandem from University of San Diego - Johnny Dee (18.5 ppg) and Christopher Anderson (11.8 ppg, 5.3 assists).
2012 NUCDF BASKETBALL CHALLENGE GAME RECAPS:
GAME #1 (Nov. 14th; 7:05 p.m.) – University of San Diego defeats Northern Kentucky, 65-61: The host Toreros (2-0) kicked off the 2012 NUCDF Basketball Challenge with a hard-fought 65-61 decision over the Northern Kentucky Norse (0-1) who were playing their first-ever game as a member of the NCAA Division I ranks. University of San Diego forward Dennis Kramer paced the Toreros with 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, and 7-of-8 at the free throw line. He was joined in the double-digit scoring column by teammates Johnny Dee (14 points) and Christopher Anderson (13 points, 6 assists). Northern Kentucky University was paced by guard Eshaunte Jones with 12 points and 6 rebounds. The host Toreros won the battle on the boards, 31-21 and their four-point halftime cushion (30-26) was the difference as both teams scored 35 points in the 2nd half.
GAME #2 (Nov. 15th; 4:35 p.m.) - Tulsa defeats Northern Kentucky, 76-56: Down 36-34 at the intermission break,the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-0) outscored the Northern Kentucky University Norse 42-20 in the second half to run away with a convincing 76-56 victory. Sophomore forward Rashad Smith scored a game-high 23 points as he converted 6-of-8 shots from the field and made 11-of-12 free throws. Guard Scottie Haralson chipped in with 10 points in the winning cause as Tulsa shot a torrid 58.7% from the field for the game (27-46). Northern Kentucky (0-2) received a team-high 12 points from freshman guard Nate Snodgrass off the bench.
GAME #3 (Nov. 15th; 7:05 p.m.) - California State University at Northridge defeats University of San Diego, 74-71: The Matadors from the Big West Conference improved to 3-0 on the season with a three-point win over the host Toreros, 74-71. California State University at Northridge guard Stephen Hicks was unstoppable as he scored a game-high 25 points making 9-of-10 shots from the field and 7-of-9 free throws. Forward Tre Hale-Edmerson notched a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds), with teammates Stephen Maxwell (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Josh Greene (11 points) also reaching the double-digit mark. The host Toreros (2-1) also had four players in double-digits led by Johnny Dee (16 points), Christopher Anderson (15 points, 8 assists), John Sinis (10 points) and Jito Kok (10 points). The athletic Matadors won the rebounding war 40-24.
GAME #4 (Nov. 16th; 4:05 p.m.) - California State University at Northridge defeats Siena, 68-64: The California State University at Northridge Matadors (4-0) survived another close battle, this time dealing the Siena Saints (1-2) a 68-64 defeat. Sophomore guard Stephen Hicks totaled a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while forward Stephen Maxwell almost matched him with 19 points and 10 caroms. In the closely contested game, Siena’s O.D. Anosike collected his own double-double with 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Teammate Rob Poole matched him in the scoring column with 19 points on the strength of five made three-pointers.
GAME #5 (Nov. 16th; 7:05 p.m., FoxSports San Diego telecast) - Tulsa defeats San Diego, 63-51: For the second straight night the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-0) broke open a close game at halftime and went on to control the second half play as they cruised to a 63-51 win over the University of San Diego Toreros (2-2). Tulsa got a big boost off the bench from 6-8 freshman forward D’Andre Wright who posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hurricane starters Rashad Smith (12 points) and James Woodward (12 points) also reached double digits. University of San Diego was once again paced by sophomore guard Johnny Dee who poured in a game-high 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting (3-5 in treys). Torero point guard Christopher Anderson added 11 points and 5 assists, and tied a school mark with 7 steals (5 thefts in the first half alone). Sophomore forward Dennis Kramer gave University of San Diego an extra boost with 11 points. Tulsa led in the rebounding department as they grabbed 39 to University of San Diego’s 26. The Hurricane also held University of San Diego to 34.0% shooting (16-47), and just 28.0% in the 2nd half (7-25).
GAME #6 (Nov. 17th; 5:05 p.m.) – California State University at Northridge defeats Tulsa, 92-76: The California State University at Northridge Matadors (5-0) won their third straight game in the tournament with a convincing 92-76 win over Tulsa (3-1). California State University at Northridge built a comfortable 40-26 advantage at halftime and were never threatened by the Hurricane in the second half. Matador guard Josh Greene poured in a tournament-high 28 points on 6-for-12 shooting while cashing in on all 14 attempts from the charity stripe. Once again they got impressive play from guard Stephan Hicks(16 points, 8 rebounds) and Brandon Perry added 16 points as well. Tulsa, playing their third straight and final game in the tournament, were led by forward Rashad Smith (15 points), guard James Woodward (14 points) and Rashad Ray off the bench with 13 points. The Hurricane did not help their cause with 20 turnovers.
GAME #7 (Nov. 17th; 7:45 p.m.) - Siena defeats Northern Kentucky, 56-52: The Siena Saints (2-2), playing their second contest in the tournament, earned a hard-fought 56-52 win over Northern Kentucky (0-3). Saints guard Evan Hymes scored a game-high 22 points on the strength of 5 made three-pointers on 9 attempts. Once again, forward O.D. Anosike was a handful inside as he notched another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. This game went down to the wire with Northern Kentucky getting a team-high 18 points from guard Eshaunte Jones. Northern Kentucky University guard Ethan Faulkner just missed out on a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds. Siena helped their cause with solid shooting beyond the three-point arc on 9-of-20 shooting.
GAME #8 (Nov. 18th; 1:05 p.m., FoxSports San Diego telecast) - San Diego defeats Siena, 77-60: The host Toreros (3-2) bounced back with an impressive 77-60 win over the Siena Saints (2-3) in a game televised locally on Fox Sports San Diego. University of San Diego sophomore guard Johnny Dee scored a season-high 27 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 accuracy from beyond the arc. Dee, who had 17 points by halftime in giving the Toreros a 42-30 advantage, was also a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. Senior forward Ken Rancifer put together his best game of the young season with a 13 point-8 rebound effort, while senior guard Cameron Miles gave the Toreros a big lift off the bench with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Saints forward O.D. Anosike notched his fifth straight double-double to kick off their season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Rob Poole chipped in with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Siena outrebounded USD, 40-32, but the Toreros outshot the Saints, 51.9% to 35.5%.
GAME #9 (Nov. 18th; 3:35 p.m.) – California State University at Northridge defeats Northern Kentucky, 69-58: The California State University at Northridge Matadors (6-0) won their fourth consecutive game in the tournament in four days as they battled to a 69-58 win over Northern Kentucky. Sophomore guard Stephan Hicks tallied his second double-double of the tournament with a 14 point-10 rebound effort. He was aided by guards Josh Greene (14 points, 5 assists) and Allan Guei (13 points). Northern Kentucky, which competed very well in each game in the tourney, came away empty handed in dropping to 0-4 on the season. Northern Kentucky University was paced by forwards Ethan Faulkner (24 points) and Jalen Billups (10 points). Faulkner converted 10-of-18 shots from the floor for the game, but as a team the Norse converted just 36.9% from the field (24-65).
2012 NUCDF BASKETBALL CHALLENGE TOURNAMENT AWARDS:
NUCDF All-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Christopher Anderson, University of San Diego
Johnny Dee, University of San Diego
O.D. Anoskie, Siena College
Josh Green, California State University at Northridge
Rashad Smith, University of Tulsa
California State University at Northridge (4-0 record)
University of Tulsa (2-1 record)
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Stephan Hicks, California State University at Northridge