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Tulsa, South Carolina Set for Paradise Jam Title Game

After beating Ohio on Friday to open this year’s Paradise Jam Tournament, Tulsa kept its momentum up Sunday night at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center with a win over Indiana State (67-59) to advance to this year’s championship game.

Sunday’s semifinal was close at half, with Indiana State taking a 36-31 lead into the locker room. To start the second, Indiana State was aggressive, and a jumper by Devonte Brown at the 17:12 mark gave the Sycamores a nine-point lead. But Tulsa kept it close, and Shaquille Harrison’s free throw with about 12 minutes to go locked the score at 45.

The game remained close until Tulsa turned up the defense and the held Indiana State scoreless in the final 4:43, propelling the Golden Hurricanes to the victory.

Harrison had 24 points, followed by teammate James Woodard who finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds.

For Indiana State, Brown and teammate Khristian Smith both finished with 14 points.

Tulsa had to wait to see who would win in the second game between South Carolina and Hofstra. Coming into the game, South Carolina had already picked up a win over DePaul, while Hofstra stunned Florida State to put the team in the semifinals.

Hofstra found itself down by 11 early in the second half, but made a run. A three-pointer by Brian Bernardi with about 11:14 remaining in the game put Hofstra ahead again 65-64. But South Carolina went on a 22-7 run to take control of the game, and held on for the 94-84 victory.

Mindaugas Kacinas led the Gamecocks with 18 points, followed by teammates Laimonas Chatkevicius and Michael Carrera, who each had 17. Juan’ya Green led Hofstra with 28 points and seven assists. Ameen Tanksely followed Green with 18 points.

South Carolina faces Tulsa in the championship game, set to take place at 10 p.m. Monday. The third-place game has Indiana State facing Hofstra. Florida State will have to settle for either fifth or sixth when it faces Ohio at 5 p.m. and the seventh-place game has Norfolk State taking on DePaul. 

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