Nov. 22, 2003 The Wichita State Shockers held on to beat the LaSalle Explorers 74-71, and the Monmouth University Hawks opened the 2003 Paradise Jam mens tournament with a 69-65 victory over the Appalachian State University Mountaineers Friday night at the 2003 Paradise Jam mens tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.
The final game was an exciting contest from beginning to end. The Explorers missed a potential game-tying three-point basket in the final seconds of the game.
The Explorers brought the ball down the court with 10 seconds remaining, but Mike Cleaves lost the ball as he drove to the basket. The ball ended up in the in the hands of Jermaine Thomas behind the three-point arc and with no one within 10 feet of him but he missed.
The score was tied at 16 with 8:56 left in the first half when the Shockers went on 10-2 run in the next five-and-a-half minutes to take a 26-18 lead.
Both teams shot poorly in the first half. The Explorers hit 8-of-33 from the field (24 percent). Gary Neal was a major contributor to his teams shooting woes, as he shot 3-of-12 (25 percent) from the field and 1-of-6 (17 percent) from behind the three-point arc. Yet Neal led the Explorers with nine points in the half.
The Shockers did not fare much better than their opponents, shooting 10-of-27 (37 percent) from the field. Aaron Hogg went 1-for-6 (17 percent) from the field and 0-of-3 from behind the three-point arc. The Shockers committed 12 turnovers in the first half.
The Explorers used a 17-9 run midway through the second half to tie the game at 50 points apiece with 8:38 left in regulation. They had scored 17 points off turnovers at that point in the game.
But it was the best the Explorers could do. They just could not capture the lead.
Rob Kampman scored 12 points to lead the Shockers. Fridge Holman had 12 points. Hogg and Jamar Howard scored 11 and 10 points respectively. Paul Miller grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and Kampman hauled in eight.
Neal led the Explorers with a game-high 22 points. Cleaves had 15 points, and Steven Smith had 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
The Hawks opened the mens tournament defeating the Mountaineers. The game was a very low-scoring affair. The teams were tied at 10 points apiece for the first 10 minutes of the first half, then the Hawks (1-0) hit two three-pointers and they never trailed afterwards. The Mountaineers (0-1) hit a three-pointer of their own but could not cut down the Hawks lead.
Mountaineers head coach Houston Fancher substituted for all the five players when they were behind by seven points with a little over 16 minutes in regulation. The move seemed to work, as the subs fought back to get to within four points of the Hawks before the starters returned to the floor with 12:42 left in the game.
The Mountaineer starters could not hold the momentum as the Hawks extended their led to 10 points in four minutes before coach Fancher substituted for all five starters again. But this time the reserves could not hold of the Hawks offensive attack.
The Hawks had four of their five starters in double figures. Brian Boxler, Blake Hamilton and Chris Kenny each had 12 points, and Dwayne Byfield added 10 points. Byfield joined Hamilton to lead the team with seven rebounds apiece.
D.J. Thompson had a game-high 14 points to lead the Mountaineers. Chris McFarland and Matt Jones added 13 and 10 points respectively.
The Hawks committed 22 turnovers but made up for it with strong field-goal shooting. The Hawks were 25-for-46 from the field (54 percent).
The Mountaineers, on the other hand, shot 24-of-74 from the field (32 percent).
Saturdays games will feature Appalachian State vs. Boston College at 6:30 p.m. and Hampton vs. La Salle at 9 p.m.
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