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Colorado State Rams Claim Golden Steel Pan Plaque as Paradise Jam Men’s Champs

Colorado State University group picture after winning the 2021 Paradise Jam Men’s Division (Photo by Mark J Daniel)

Day 3

Game 7 – Colorado State University 95 – Creighton University 81
It was raining 3s at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports, and Fitness Center as the Colorado State Rams dropped 20 bombs from three-point land in their 95-81 win over the Bluejays from Creighton University on Sunday evening.

In one of the more exciting games of the tournament, David Roddy of Colorado States once again showed that he packed his work shoes as he lit up the court, scoring 36 points, including seven three-pointers. This high-scoring affair was never truly in doubt as seven different Rams collectively made 20 shots from behind the arc. Dischon Thomas and Isaiah Stevens also played big for the Rams. Thomas made five three-pointers on his way to a 21-point night. Junior guard Isaiah Stevens recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists. Creighton Bluejays played a great game shooting 55% from the field. Four of their five starters scored in double digits, led by a pair of Freshmen Arthur Kaluma 16 points and Ryan Nembhard 15 points.

Colorado State University earned a spot in Monday evening’s championship game at 9 p.m., while Creighton University will play for third place on Monday at 6:45 p.m.

Game 8 – Northeastern University 59 – Southern Illinois University 47
After the track meets in the opening game of Day 3, the pace was slowed to almost a crawl as Northeastern Huskies, and Southern Illinois Salukis had trouble locating the basket in the first half of this game. The teams scored only 20 points each as Northeastern shot 40% from the field while Sothern Illinois made only 25% of their attempt in the opening frame. The second half started with a made jumper by Lance Jones, two of his game-high 21 points for the Salukis. That would be the last time Southern Illinois would be in front in this contest. Northeastern Vito Cubrillo tied the game for the Huskies just two minutes into the second half, and Chris Doherty’s layup gave them the lead. The Salukis kept the game close, but the Huskies expanded their lead to as many as 13 points on their way to a 59-47 victory.

Shaquille Walters was the top scorer for Northeastern with 20 points, and Doherty contributed 14 points. Ben Coupet Jr. came off the bench to score 10 points to go along with Jones 21 for the Salukis in a losing effort.

Northeastern advances to face Colorado State University in the title match at 9 p.m. Monday evening. Southern Illinois will take on Creighton University for third place at 6:45 p.m.

Left: Nels Hawkinson, Tournament Director; David Roddy, Colorado State University – Tournament MVP; Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State University – All-Tournament Team; Governor Albert Bryan Jr., Governor of the USVI (Photo by Mark J Daniel)

Day 4

Game 9 – Duquesne University 78 – Bradley University 70
Paradise Jam was not exactly paradise to the Bradley Braves on the court as the team from Peoria, Illinois, played well but lost all three of their games in the tournament by single digits. Duquesne Dukes from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, were the culprits, this time handing the Braves a 78-70 loss on the final day of Paradise Jam.

The Braves started the game out strong, building a 10-0 advantage before the Dukes came back to tie the game at 10. The first half remained closely contested, with Duquesne building a six-point lead at intermission. In the second half, the Dukes maintained control of the game, increasing their lead to 16 points. The Braves did manage to cut the lead to three points twice, but the Dukes didn’t let Bradley get any closer. Leon Ayers III led the Dukes scoring 23 points as a non-starter. Tre Williams scored 15, and Primo Spears added 14 for Duquesne. Terry Roberts led Bradley with 17 points. Ja’Shon Henry and Connor Hickman registered 14 points each, and Henry also gathered a game-high 11 rebounds.

Duquesne University settled for seventh place in the tournament, and Bradley University came in eighth place.

Game 10 – University of Colorado 54 – Brown University 52
On Monday, The University of Colorado Buffaloes followed the same script from their win on Saturday evening as they limped out the gates falling behind by eight points in the first half in their final game of Paradise Jam against the Brown University Bears. The team from Providence, Rhode Islands, Brown University, found themselves in the lead at halftime despite shooting just 31% from the field in the first. The Buffaloes also struggled as the team from Boulder, Colorado, only made six field goals in the opening frame. Combined, both teams made only five three-point baskets. The second half was a back-and-forth tug of war, with Colorado claiming the lead six times while the Browns were on top five. The game was also tied five times in the closing half. Colorado pulled ahead for good on Evan Battley’s layup with 1:05 left in the game.

The University of Colorado finished the tournament in fourth place, while the Bears of Brown University were awarded sixth place.

Game 11 – Creighton University 66 – Southern Illinois University 64
Creighton University Bluejays and Southern Illinois University Salukis game were decided on the very last shot of the game. Let’s jump right to the second half, where Creighton started with a slim four-point lead. That margin grew to nine points before Southern Illinois University quietly took the lead, with 10:31 remaining in regulation. The Salukis were ahead from that point until the 2:11 mark when the Bluejays tied the game at 62 points. A short jumper from Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner put the Bluejays up two. Marcus Domask from Southern Illinois hit a jumper of his own, knotting the fans’ stomachs and the game at 64 apiece with just five ticks left on the game clock. The Bluejays called a timeout. Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard caught the ball that was inbounded under his own basket, 92 feet away, flew down the court, and let go of a high floater from just outside the key. The ball bounced on the rim a few times before it found its way through, securing the win for Creighton.

Creighton University earned a bronze place finish while Southern Illinois University dropped to fifth place.

Game 12 – Colorado State University 71 – Northeastern University 61
The Huskies defense served as the maintenance crew as they fixed the roofing issues at the Sports and Fitness Center, stopping Colorado’s rainfall of 3s as the Rams couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean to start the Championship Game of the 2021 Paradise Jam Men’s Tournament. Colorado State Rams came into this match up on the heels of making 20 three-pointers in their last game. However, the team from Boulder Colorado offense was stymied by the Northeastern Huskies defense for the entire first half. The Rams only made eight of their 25 shots in the opening frame scoring just 20 points. This afforded Northeastern to take a 16-point lead into the break. But the team from Boston, Massachusetts, could not tie down the “Ramming” Rams for too long. The Colorado State Rams charged back into the game in the second half. In that frame, Colorado’s Head Coach Niko Medved was issued a technical foul, which proved to be the game’s turning point. From that point, the Rams outscored the Huskies 47-19. Tournament MVP David Roddy of Colorado stepped up big by scoring 19 of his game-high 27 points in the second half. Isaiah Stevens, who was named to the all-tournament team, pitched in with 13 points. Jahmyl Telfort and Nikola Djogo led the Huskies with 18 and 17 points.

Colorado State Rams earned the top spot in the tournament. Northeastern University was the tournament’s runner-up.

Roddy earned MVP honors averaging 31 points per game for the tournament. Roddy and Stevens both made the 2021 Men’s Paradise Jam All-Tournament Team. Shaquille Walters of Northeastern University, Ryan Nembhard of Creighton University, Lance Jones from Southern Illinois, and Evan Battley from the University of Colorado were also named to the All-Tournament team.


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