LAHAINA, Hawaii (Ticker) -- Indiana rode a pair of freshman to its first Maui Invitational championship.
Bracey Wright scored 21 points and fellow freshman Marshall Strickland had 12 of his 15 in the final 10 minutes as the 20th-ranked Hoosiers posted a 70-63 victory over Virginia in the championship game.
Wright is a starter in his first season and scored 26 points in his first two games, but Indiana got a huge lift from Strickland, who had scored just three points in 17 minutes entering Wednesday.
"I think Bracey and I had a lot of nerves in our first game, but I think we have a lot of talent and can contribute to this team," Strickland said. "The young guys are able to make the adjustments quickly."
The 6-2 guard scored seven points during a decisive run in the second half as Indiana (3-0) seized control. With the contest tied , 44-44, George Leach made 1-of-2 free throws with 10:33 left to give the Hoosiers the lead for good and spark a 15-1 run.
Wright buried two free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound and Strickland added a four-point play to stretch the lead to 51-44.
After a free throw by Virginia's Elton Brown, Indiana scored eight consecutive points, capped by Strickland's three-point play, which made it 59-45 with 6:54 to play.
Wright added a jumper and a layup in the final 5:05 and finished 5-of-6 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
Tom Coverdale was hampered by back problems and held to six points on 0-of-6 shooting for Indiana (3-0), which lost in its two previous appearances in the Maui Invitational finals.
"We're a better team than a lot of people are giving us credit for right now," Wright said. "We showed in this tournament that we can beat some top teams."
Travis Watson had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Brown scored 12 points for Virginia (3-1), which shot just 35 percent (20-of-57) from the floor.
The Cavaliers had a 33-32 halftime lead despite shooting just 38 percent (12-of-32). The Hoosiers made 10-of-12 shots in the opening 20 minutes.
Virginia had a 30-24 lead with 3:54 left but Strickland sank a 3-pointer and Wright followed with a layup. Wright ended the half with a 3-pointer as Indiana pulled within one at intermission.
Wright was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Jeff Newton, who had 11 points, and Watson were selected to the All-Tournament team.