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Maryland Takes Men's Paradise Jam Tourney

The Maryland Terrapins were crowned the 2013 Paradise Jam men’s champions early Tuesday morning, as their game against the Providence Friars wrapped up just after 1 a.m. at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center on St. Thomas.

For the first four minutes of the game, the Friars kept it close and, around the 16-minute mark, the score was tied at eight – but from that point on, Maryland used a 25-13 run to close out the first half and took a 33-21 lead into the break.

The scoring in the second half started when Maryland’s Evan Smotrycz got the tip-in off of Dez Wells’ miss to put the lead at 14. A few possessions later, a Smotrycz three-pointer made it 17, at 38-21, Maryland. And just after the 13-minute mark, a Varun Ram three-pointer gave Maryland their largest lead of the game, 19.

But that’s when the Friars made their run: LaDontae Henton’s layup started the rally for Providence, making the score 44-27. After Josh Fortune got fouled on a three-pointer, he made all three freethrows to make the lead 11, 44-33. One of two freethrows from Kadeem Batts with 8:40 left in the game left Providence down by only seven, 44-37.

Both teams traded baskets, but with just under five minutes left in the game, Bryce Cotton’s layup made the Terps’ lead only three, 48-45. With just under two minutes left in the game, Maryland’s Charles Mitchell made a layup to push Maryland’s lead back out to six, but coming out of a time-out, Cotton was fouled on a three and after sinking the freethrow, Providence was only down two, 51-49, with a 1:30 left in the game.

Wells’ jumper with a minute left pushed the lead back to four, but once again it was Cotton, with about 30 seconds left on the clock, whose jumper made it a two-point game. Wells was fouled and made both freethrows, and the lead was once again four.

Maryland held on for the 56-52 win, with Wells taking home the award for Most Valuable Player.

Smotrycz and Wells led Maryland, each with 13 points. Batts had 19 points for Providence, while Henton and Tyler Harris each had 10.

The All-Tournament Team was made up of Loyola Marymount’s Anthony Ireland, Northern Iowa’s Nate Buss, Morgan State’s Ian Chiles, Providence’s Harris and Maryland’s Smotrycz.

The final standings for the men’s tournament: Maryland first place, Providence second, Northern Iowa third, Vanderbilt fourth, LaSalle fifth, Loyola Marymount sixth, Morgan State seventh, and Marist rounding out the group in eighth place.

The women’s Paradise Jam tournament starts Thanksgiving Day at 2:15 p.m. with Xavier taking on Duke.

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