Nov. 25, 2002 – The Brigham Young University Cougars defeated the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies, 66-57, to crown themselves champions in the men's division of the 2002 University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at the Sports and Fitness Center Monday night.
The Virginia Tech University Hokies beat the Toledo University Rockets, 58-45, in the second game of the evening to secure third place in the tournament. And the Kansas State Wildcats won the first game of the day with a dominating performance over the University of Michigan Wolverines, 82-71.
Brigham Young 66, St. Bonaventure 57
The Cougars emerged victorious over the Bonnies in the championship game. The Bonnies led early by a score of 26-17 with six minutes left in the first half. Then the Cougars fought back to within one point, 29-28, with 1:30 left in the half.
The tournament's most valuable player, Marques Green, closed the half with five points to extend the Bonnies lead to six, 34-28. However, the Bonnies missed their first six field goals of the second half, which allowed the Cougars to take advantage of this and surpass the Bonnies, 37-34.
Green then led his team back with seven points as the Bonnies went on another run midway through the second half to regain the lead, 45-43.
The Cougars roared back with a 12-2 run to take an eight point lead, 55-47. Travis Hansen of the Cougars put back an offensive rebound with a climatic dunk at the end of that offensive spree. "We kept playing hard and kept ourselves in the game," Hansen said afterward of his team's gritty performance.
The Bonnies would answer again with a 9-2 run to tie the game at 57, with Green accounting for seven of those nine points. "We played with a lot of heart," Green said.
The Cougars then closed the game with a 9-0 run.
Jared Jensen had 15 points to lead the Cougars. Hansen had 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Mark Bigelow added 11 points for the Cougars.
Green led the Bonnies with 19 points and Mike Gansey added 10, scoring them all in the first half.
The Cougars improved their record to 3-0, while the Bonnies dropped to 2-1.
Virginia Tech 58, Toledo University 45
The Hokies beat the Rockets in the second game of the evening to secure third place in the tournament.
Bryant Matthews scored eight points early in the first half to give the Hokies a 25-14 lead.
The Rockets closed the final four minutes of the half with a 6-0 run. They stayed hot and kept the scoring pressure with a 5-0 run to start the second half — a lay-up by Ricardo Thomas and then a three-point basket by Nick Moore in the first minute.
The Hokies then answered with an offensive spurt of their own, outscoring 16 to 5 for the next six and a half minutes. Brian Chase led the Hokies offensively in that run with six points off of two three pointers.
The Rockets tried everything to get back in the game but could only get within six points of the Hokies.
Matthews had 16 points to lead the Hokies. Carlos Dixon had 14 points and Philip McCandies added 13.
Thomas had 18 points to lead the Rockets.
The Hokies improved to 2-1 and the Rockets fell to 1-2.
Kansas State 82, University of Michigan 71
In the first game of the day, the K-State Wildcats won with a dominating performance over the Michigan Wolverines.
The Wildcats took advantage of 10 Wolverine turnovers and converted them into 12 points in the first half, while the Wolverines had no points off turnovers.
Both teams got off to a slow start. However, the Wildcats missed six of their first seven field goal attempts. They then went 13 for 19 for the rest of the half. The Wildcats bench also provided an offensive spark, making 15 points in the half.
The game looked like a tale of two halves. The Wolverines got 15 points off of turnovers in the second half.
The Wolverines played the entire second half with a full-court press and were able to get the deficit down to single digits in the half.
The Wildcats made 23 of 32 free throws. "I think that was the difference in the ball game, K-State coach Jim Wooldridge said afterward. "We made our free throws down the stretch. It really kept our confidence up."
The Wildcats seemed relieved after the victory. "We got into our flow and got everyone into the game," leading scorer Pervis Pasco said. "Today we played really well and kept the ball under control."
Michigan's head coach, Tommy Amaker, said, "We've made a lot of youthful errors today. We played with passion and showed some life in the second half."
Wooldridge said, "I am proud of the way we came out today. We stayed in the game and played really hard."
However, the Wildcats kept the victory in perspective. "We got a lot of improvement to do," Wooldridge said. "Everyone needs some confidence, and hopefully this will give us some."
The Wildcats had good point distribution from the entire team with seven players scoring eight or more points.
Pasco had 14 points to lead the Wildcats. Frank Richards had 13 and Matt Siebrandt added 12. Tim Ellis and Jarrett Hart each scored 11. Gilson DeJesus had 9 points, Janerio Spurlock scored 8 and Tim Ellis and Jarrett Hart each had 7.
Daniel Horton and LaVell Blanchard each had 17 points to lead the Wolverines. Bernard Robinson had 14 and Lester Abram added 13.
The Wildcats finished in fifth place for the tournament with the win and brought their record to 1-2. The Wolverines remain winless at 0-3 for the season.
Pasco of the Wildcats, Nick Moore of the Rockets, Terry Taylor of the Hokies, and Bigelow and Hansen of the Cougars were named to the All Tournament Team.
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