Youngstown State took advantage of its pre-season trip to paradise, coming away with three victories in three days by beating the University of Calgary twice and a team of All-Stars from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Games were held at the Sports and Recreation Center on the University of the Virgin Islands’ St. Thomas campus.
Youngstown State 74, University of Calgary 71
Youngstown State overcame a 12 point first-half deficit Wednesday to defeat the University of Calgary in the first game of week two of Paradise Jam.
Calgary led for most of the game but a late push by Youngstown State turned the tables.
Michael Akuchie lead the way for the Ohio squad with 14 points, while Darius Quinsberry chipped in 13 points and Tyler Foster scored 10.
For the losing side, Tobi Adelodun had 16 points and Brett Layton had 14.
A key difference in the game was Youngstown State’s play in the paint, as they outscored their opposition 44-25 in that area.
Youngstown State 90 USVI All-Stars 82
Isiah Harvey of the USVI All Stars hit a pair of free-throws to tie the at 81 each with 1:23 to play, but the Penguins of Youngstown State closed the game with a 9-1 run in the last minute to pull out the victory in a back-and-forth contest.
The home team scored the game’s first six points, and the islanders hung on to the lead for most of the first half.
A three-pointer by Khalid Gerard extended the lead to 17-10 at the 13:16 mark in the first half.
When Youngstown State cut the USVI lead to two, Devon Peltier knocked down back-to-back three pointers for the Virgin Islands and boosted the lead to eight with about 11 and a half minutes to go in the half.
But Youngstown State went on an 8-0 run that was capped off by a Micheal Akuchie layup to tie the game at 25 with just over seven minutes to go in the initial period.
The Virgin Islands team fought back, taking a seven-point advantage with just under four minutes left, but Youngstown State responded with an 8-1 run of its own, taking its first lead when Donel Cathcart knocked down a three-pointer with 2:23 remaining in the half.
Youngstown State built its lead up to four with a minute and a half to go before the break, but the Virgin Islanders bounced back, tying the game with 13 seconds left, going into the locker at halftime tied at 43.
The second half was a see-saw, with YSU scoring the first five points of the second, then the home squad taking the lead back at the 13:32 mark on a pair of Harvey free-throws.
Jamir Thomas gave Youngstown State a four-point edge with a layup at just under 10 minutes remaining.
The V.I. All Stars made another run, outscoring the Penguins 13-4 over the next five minutes to take a 77-72 lead with just under four and a half minutes left in the game. But Youngstown State scored the next six points to take a six-point edge on a Christian Bentley layup with 3:18 to go.
The teams alternated baskets until Youngstown State’s final 8-1 push that closed out the game in the last minute.
Peltier finished led the USVI scoring with 32 points, while Harvey had 14 points and Xavier Richards finished with 13 points as the home team fell just short.
Youngstown spread the scoring around, as Naz Bohannon’s 14-point performance made him the leading scorer for the victorious Penguins, Garret Covington had 13 points, Jelani Simmons had 12 points and Tyler Foster finished with 11 to give them four double digit scorers.
Youngstown State 71 University of Calgary 59
In Saturday’s rematch of Wednesday’s game, the teams exchanged baskets for much of the first half, but an 11-1 run by Youngstown State gave the Penguins an 11-point advantage with just over two minutes to go in the first half, a margin that held until halftime, with YSU up, 35-24.
In the second half, Calgary never cut the deficit to less than nine points. Youngstown State kept a firm grip on the game to finish its portion of summer Paradise Jam undefeated.
Quinsberry lead the way in the win with 16 points and Akuchie, Thomas, and Simmons all finished with 10 points a piece.
Noah Wharton and Brett Layton both finished with 11 points and Simon Kutszchemar finished with 10 points in the loss.
The territory will welcome the University of Massachusetts, slated to play the University of Calgary on Tuesday, the BVI All-Stars on Thursday, and the USVI All-Stars on Saturday.
All games will start at 5 p.m and tickets will be available at the door for $5.