FAIRBANKS - Reserve forward Joshua Peppers scored all 12 of his points in the final 11 minutes to lead Central Florida to a 62-58 victory over New Mexico State Sunday in the championship game of the Top of the World Classic.
The Knights (3-0), who kicked off the tournament Thursday with a victory over NCAA Division II host Alaska Fairbanks, led the Aggies (2-1) for all but a brief period in the second half.
Tournament most valuable player Gary Johnson led the Knights with 15 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Central Florida led 23-19 at the half but New Mexico State rallied to tie the score 38-38 and grabbed the lead briefly on Allen Haynes' 3-pointer, which made it 43-40 Aggies.
But the Knights answered with an 11-3 run and made 9-of-12 free throws in the final 2 minutes to preserve the victory.
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