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Cyclones off to best start in program history

The Diamond Head Classic was the only college game in town on Christmas Day, and the eight-team field provided four competitive games.

Iowa State trailed by as much 11 points in the first half and didn’t take the lead for good until 13:44 remained in the game, yet hung on to win the tournament championship 70-66 over Boise State.

The Associated Press No. 14 Cyclones, who are 11-0 for the first time in school history, went up 44-43 on a lay up by Melvin Ejim. Boise State (10-3) pulled even at 60-60 on Derrick Marks’ 3-pointer with 4:11 left, but Iowa State scored the next five points, including three of DeAndre Kane’s game-high 23 points, to keep enough distance.

Georges Niang scores 16 points and Ejim added 15 and 10 rebounds (his third double-double in as many tournament games) for Iowa State, which surpassed the 10-0 start of the 1996-1997 team.

For Boise State, Marks had 23 points and Anthony Drmic added 16, though the rest of the team combined for just 27 points.

South Carolina 69, Akron 59

Freshman Duane Notice had a season-high 15 points to lead five in double figures in the third-place game.

Quincy Diggs had a lay up at the 13:25 mark of the second half that gave Akron a 42-39 lead, but the Gamecocks got things going after that.

Starting with a jumper by Notice, South Carolina (4-6) went on a 14-3 spurt and led 53-45 at the 7:20 mark. Demetrius Treadwell had a three-point-play to get the Zips as close as 59-56. Again the Gamecocks reestablished a multiple-possessions lead, scoring the next eight points, four of which came from Notice.

Treadwell led Akron (6-4) with 12 points.

Hawaii 79, Oregon State 73

The Warriors equaled their best start since 2010-2011 in winning the fifth-place game.

Hawaii, which has won seven of eight games and is 9-3 for the second time since 2010-2011, led by as much as 19 points at 65-46 on a dunk by Isaac Fotu (team-high 17 points) at the 8:08 mark.

Keith Shamburger did a bit of everything for the Warriors, handing out 10 assists and adding nine points, six rebounds and a pair of steals. Garrett Nevels also had 16 points in Hawaii’s first game against a team from the Pac 10/12 since a loss to California in November, 2006.

Robert Nelson scored 61 points in the three-game tournament for Oregon State (7-4), including 24 Wednesday.

George Mason 65, St. Mary’s 63

The Patriots didn’t take their first lead until less than three minutes remained, but Bryon Allen’s jumper at the 2:42 mark put Mason up 57-56 and it never trailed again to win the seventh-place game.

St. Mary’s led by as much as 11 points early as it made seven of its first 10 shots.

The Gaels cooled off and George Mason (6-6) shot 59 percent from the field during the second half, erasing a nine-point deficit to snap a four-game losing streak.

Allen and Patrick Holloway each had 15 points for the Patriots, while Stephen Holt and James Walker III collected 14 points apiece for St. Mary’s, which has lost three consecutive times since starting 9-0.