EL PASO, Texas – The ETSU Buccaneers (10-4) defeated Norfolk State (5-9) 89-61 in the title game of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Saturday, Dec. 22 in El Paso, Texas to take on the championship trophy.
ETSU took an early lead against the Spartans and never let-up while junior guard Tray Boyd III posted a career-high 24 points. Buccaneer guards Bo Hodges and Daivien Williamson played great during the two games, which led to Hodges being named the Barry Kobren Most Valuable Player, while Hodges earned a spot on the all-tournament team.
UTEP (5-6) defeated Wyoming (3-9), 76-65, in the consolation game shooting 47-percent from the field. The Miners were led by forward Efe Odigie, who marked his fifth double-double of the season. He scored 12 points and 11 rebounds, which helped him earn the 2018 Don Haskins Award.
“It was another successful and wonderful tournament,” said Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “The teams competed hard against one another and really enjoyed themselves while here in El Paso.”
ETSU really enjoyed its trip to El Paso, while not only winning the tournament, but taking in a lot of what the community has to offer.
“"I would recommend anyone that can come down here to do so. If we come back here, all of our fans, I recommend you come down because it’s been great. These people are phenomenal,” said ETSU Head Coach Steve Forbes. “"It’s been unbelievable. The hospitality we’ve gotten here has been the best I’ve had in my 29 years of coaching. I’ve heard that, but it’s true."
WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational – All-Tournament Team
Bo Hodges – ETSU – MVP
Efe Odigie – UTEP – Don Haskins Award
Daivien Williamson – ETSU
Derrik Jamerson – Norfolk State
Hunter Thompson – Wyoming
Evan Gilyard – UTEP
In 2009, the tournament was renamed to honor former UTEP head coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins. “The Bear” coached at UTEP from 1961 to 1999, winning 719 games and making 14 postseason appearances. Haskins famously led the Miners to victory in the 1966 National Championship game over Adolph Rupp and the heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats.
The WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational is the oldest holiday basketball tournament in the nation.