The championship rounds of this year’s Paradise Jam tournament took place Monday on St. Thomas, and the first game, for seventh place, had two teams with zeros in the win column – Marist and Morgan State – facing off.
This game was tight throughout, and after a half of play, Morgan State found itself up two, 30-28. In the second half, Morgan State’s Justin Black, after tying the game up by hitting one of two free throws, hit a three-pointer to give the Bears a 44-41 lead.
A couple of possessions later, Chavaughn Lewis tipped in his own miss and then, after hitting one of two free throws, the game was once again tied – this time at 44.
But from that point, Marist went on a run, capped by Manny Thomas’ three-pointer with about seven minutes left in the game to give Marist their biggest lead yet, eight. On the next possession, Cedric Blossom got two of his 16 points in the game to cut the lead to six, and then Black grabbed a rebound and followed it with a dunk to make the lead four.
On the next possession, Black again answered – with a three this time, leaving Marist leading by one, 57-56, with just over five minutes to go in the game. With about a minute left, Blossom found himself on the line, down two, but sunk both free throws to send the game into the overtime.
In the overtime, Morgan State pulled away for the 74-67 win.
For Morgan State, Ian Chiles led all scorers with 25 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks, followed by Black with 19 points. For Marist, Jay Bowie finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, while Lewis finished with 15 points.
Fuller Leads Vanderbilt to Fourth Place Finish
After a disappointing loss on the first day of the tournament to Providence, the Vanderbilt Commodores hoped to salvage fourth place after beating Loyola Marymount, 77-68, during Monday’s championship round.
The first half was relatively close, but an 11-1 run, finished by a Dia-John Parker three-pointer off an assist from Shelby Moats, put the Commodores up 30-19 with about five minutes to go in the first half.
With about two minutes left, Loyola Marymount was down 10, but two free throws from Anthony Ireland, followed by Nino Jackson’s jumper – and then two more free throws from Marin Mornar – cut the Commodores’ lead to only four at half, 34-30.
The second half was also back and forth, but clutch free throws late from Kyle Fuller, Eric McClellan and Rod Odom, helped Vanderbilt hold on for the 77-68 win.
For Vanderbilt, Fuller finished with 20 points, followed by McClellan with 16. For LMU, Ireland – who scored at least 20 points in every tournament game so far – finished the night with 20 points, while teammates Ben Dickinson and Gabe Levin each finished with 10.