Nov. 30, 2003 The Southwest Missouri State Lady Bears and the Virginia Tech Hokies captured the titles of their respective divisions Saturday at the 2003 University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam women's basketball tournament.
Four games were played before a crowd of 2,369 on the St. Thomas campus. Three teams finished the St. John division with identical 2-1 records. Thus, the Lady Bears lost a battle the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets but won war due to the second tiebreaker criteria of net head-to-head margin.
In the St. Thomas division the winner was decided in the championship game, which the Hokies won in a dramatic, crowd-pleasing fashion.
St. John Division:
Georgia Tech 78, Southwest Missouri 71
The game started at a relatively slow pace, but then the Lady Bears (2-1) went on a 12-2 run to give them a 19-12 advantage midway through the first half.
Both teams finished the tournament with 2-1 records, as did with West Virginia. But even with the defeat the Lady Bears claimed the championship of the division due to the second tiebreaker, net margin in head-to-head. The Yellow Jackets won the game, but finished third in the division.
Even though the Yellow Jackets (3-1) did not make a field goal in the last 10-plus minutes of the half, they were still able to hold onto a slim lead, 27-26, at the end of the first half. This was due largely to 8-of-9 free throws made in last seven-and-a-half minutes of the half.
There were five lead changes in the first five minutes of the second half. The Yellow Jackets were down by one point, 34-33, but went on a 21-10 run to take a 10-point lead with less than nine minute left in regulation.
The Yellow Jackets kept SMSU at bay for the remainder of the game. The Lady Bears cut the deficit to five points with just over one minute left. Alex Steward led the Yellow Jackets down the stretch, scoring seven of their final eight points with one field goal and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
Megan Isom had 22 points to lead the Yellow Jackets, and Fallon Strokes had 18. Steward had 12 points and nine assists in the game. Mallorie Winn added 10 points from the bench in the victory.
All five of the Lady Bears starters were in double figures. Kari Koch had 16 points, Sarah Klaassen had 14 points, Meg Tierney and Jenni Lingor each had 13 and Morgan Hohenberger added 10.
West Virginia 89, James Madison 63
The James Madison Dukes (1-3) started the first game of the day with an offensive advantage of 7-2. After both teams exchanged baskets, the UWV Mountaineers (4-1) then went on a 17-2 offensive surge to take a 10-point lead, 21-11.
The Mountaineers offense blistered the Dukes, shooting 19-of-29 (66 percent) in the first half. They had three players with double figures in the half. Kate Bulger and Sherell Sowho each had 12 points and Michelle Carter added 10 points. Lesley Dickinson had 12.
The second half was a very even-scoring affair. The Dukes could not cut into the deficit as the Mountaineers answered every Duke mini-rally.
Jody LeRose went 4-of-5 from behind the three-point arc in the second half for 12 points. This was after she shot 1-of-7 from the field and 1-of-4 from downtown in the first half.
The Mountaineers finished second in the St. John division.
West Virginia had a total four players in double figures. Carter and Sowho each had 19 points to lead the Mountaineers. Bulger had 17 points and Yolanda Paige added had 15 points to go with Carter and Sowho. Carter also grabbed nine rebounds.
The Dukes were led by Dickinson, who had 23 points. LeRose had 15 points from the bench.
Koch of SMSU captured the St. John Division Most Valuable Player award. Dickinson of James Madison, Bulger of West Virginia, Lingor of Southwest Missouri State, and Steward and Strokes of Georgia Tech were all named to the St. John division all-tournament team.
St. Thomas Division:
Virginia Tech 63, Mississippi State 56
The Lady Bulldogs (1-2) shot poorly in the beginning of the game, 2-of-14 (14 percent) in the first seven and a half minutes. The Hokies (4-0) were down three points early in the game and then went on a 10-0 run to take an early seven point lead.
The Lady Bulldogs answered with a 9-0 run to reclaim a slim two-point lead. The Hokies then responded with an 8-2 offensive surge of their own. The seesaw battle continued as the Lady Bulldogs ended the first half with a 5-0 run to take a slim lead, 26-25, at half-time.
The Hokies started the second half hitting their first five field-goal attempts. On the other side of the ball, the Lady Bulldogs missed their first three shots from the field to start the half.
The Hokies took a 10-point lead a little more than six minutes into the second half. The Lady Bulldogs then bit back into the deficit to close it to one point with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
The Hokies again went on a 7-0 run, only to be answered by a Lady Bulldog 7-0 run of their own. The Lady Bulldogs tied the game at 56 all with 55 seconds left in the game.
The Hokies then went inside to Erin Gibson who made the lay-up and was fouled with 32 seconds left. She missed the free-throw attempt, but Dawn Chriss grabbed the offensive rebound. Mason was fouled, and hit both free throws. She made two more free throws to cap all scoring.
The Hokies shot 24-of-51 (47 percent) from the field in the game. The Lady Bulldogs shot 22-of-62 (36 percent). The Hokies had 16 free-throw attempts, making 12. The Lady Bulldogs only had five attempts in the entire game.
The Hokies won the St. Thomas Division of the tournament.
Carrie Mason had 24 points to lead the Hokies. She was perfect in seven free-throw attempts. Ieva Kublina had 17 points for the Hoosiers. Gibson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go with her eight points.
Seneca Anderson led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points. Tiana Burns added 11 points in defeat.
Iowa State 75, Indiana 59
This game started at a hectic seesaw pace with both teams holding slim single digit leads in the first half. There were five lead changes and one tie in the first half.
The Iowa State Cyclones went on a 9-0 run with nine minutes left in the first half to take command and they never trailed again in the game. Kreiner had five points during that offensive surge on her way to record a double-double.
The two teams exchanged baskets to start the second half. Then the Cyclones blew the Hoosiers away. ISU went on a 14-0 run to take over the contest.
The Hoosiers tried to get back into the game but just could not get themselves into a good enough offensive rhythm to cut into the double-digit deficit.
The Cyclone captured third place in the tournament with the victory.
The Cyclones had four players in double figures. Lisa Kreiner had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cyclones. Anne ONeil had 14 points, and Megan Ronhovde added 13. Lyndsey Medders chipped in 11 points.
The Cyclones shot 26-of-51 (51 percent) from the field, while the Hoosiers shot 16-of-48 (33 percent).
Cyndi Valentin had 17 points to lead the Hoosiers. Jenny DeMuth added 13 points in defeat.
Mason of Virginia Tech captured the St. Thomas Division MVP award. DeMuth of Indiana, Kreiner of Iowa State, Kublina of Virginia Tech, Burns and Tan White of Mississippi State were all named to the St. Thomas Division all-tournament team.
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