HONOLULU – Spencer Jones scored a career-high 25 points, Brandon Angel scored 10 of his 17 points in the final nine minutes and Stanford beat Liberty 79-76 on Thursday in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, spoiling Darius McGhee’s 41-point performance.
McGhee tied the tournament scoring record set by BYU’s Chase Fischer in the 2015-16 season. McGhee entered ranked 28th in the nation by averaging 19.8 points per game, and he was 13-of-28 shooting with seven 3-pointers against Stanford. No other player for Liberty (8-5) scored more than six points.
Stanford was ahead 76-67 with 41 seconds left before McGhee scored eight of the final 12 points. Angel made 1 of 2 free throws to give Stanford a three-point lead with 6.8 seconds left. After a timeout, Stanford fouled McGhee near midcourt and he made two free throws at 4.3.
Stanford freshman Harrison Ingram made two free throws to regain a three-point advantage. Liberty wasn’t able to get the ball to McGhee, and Keegan McDowell turned it over near midcourt at the final buzzer.
Jones, averaging 7.7 points per game, was 8 of 11 from the field with five 3-pointers to top his previous high of 18 points for Stanford (8-4).
McGhee and Jones were the only two in double figures until 8:18 remaining in the game when Angel sank a 3-pointer to give Stanford a 57-55 lead.
In the first half, Stanford trailed by as many as 13 points before closing on an 18-6 run over the final four minutes. Michael O’Connell highlighted the first half by sinking a half-court shot at the buzzer to tie it at 36. Liberty only made three field goals in the final six minutes, going 3 for 11.
Stanford advances to the championship game on Saturday.