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Boilermakers Hold On to Take Paradise Jam Championship

Paradise Jam once again left the best for last, as the sixth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers held on in the final seconds against ninth-ranked Tennessee to eke out a 73-72 victory Monday night in what was possibly one of the greatest games in Paradise Jam tournament history.
The UVI Sports and Fitness Center was packed for the tourney’s ultimate game, with plenty of Tennessee jerseys everywhere, along with a good number of Purdue fans. Excitement was definitely in the air as the tournament’s two favorites squared off in what would prove to be a nail biter.
Purdue had an easier time getting to the tournament finals, first taking on South Dakota State, who they beat by 11, and then Saint Joseph’s University, who managed to hang with the Boilermakers during the first half of Sunday’s game only to get blown out in the second.
For the Volunteers, the tournament started out with a 105-66 victory over East Carolina, but the team ran into a tough test Sunday when it took on DePaul and scraped by with a slim four-point win.
The first half of Monday’s championship game was a back-and-forth affair, with four lead changes — the most important one coming with one second left in the first half, when an E’twuan Moore layup gave Purdue a 42-41 lead into the break.
The second half was pretty much like the first, with both teams staying relatively close to each other, trading shots and leads until about the 2:13 mark, when two free throws by Keaton Grant gave Purdue a six-point lead at 72-66. On the next possession, Tennessee’s Taylor Smith got fouled and then cut the deficit to four, after sinking both free throws. A missed jumper by Purdue’s Robbie Hummel led to a Wayne Chism layup with 1:15 left to go, leaving Tennessee only down by two, 72-70.
The score remained the same until Hummel found himself on the line with 32 seconds in the game. He missed the first free throw, but hit the second to give Purdue a 73-70 lead. Tennessee’s Bobby Maze, held mostly in check during the second half, then notched a layup with 18 seconds left to pull the Vols to within one.
Tennessee quickly fouled Kelsey Barlow, sending Purdue to the line for two. Tennessee needed Barlow to miss at least one of his free throws, but Barlow missed both.
The Vols now had the ball with the seconds running off the clock. Maze tried to penetrate, but the Purdue defense collapsed, causing him to kick it out to a wide open Chism at the top of the key for three — a shot Chism has made time and again throughout the tournament. But this time it was a brick to the side of the rim.
Barlow rushed over to the corner and grabbed the rebound, sealing the deal for the Boilermakers and making them the tournament’s 2009 men’s champion, 73-72.
Chism did all he could to help his squad, finishing the game with 24 points and six rebounds. But the duo of Moore and Hummel proved to be too much. Moore, who was named tournament MVP, had 22 points for Purdue, while Hummel followed close behind with 20 and seven rebounds.
In the game for third place, DePaul knocked off Saint Joseph’s, 58-51, while the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) grabbed fifth place with an 81-69 win over Boston College, and East Carolina defeated South Dakota State 82-73 to take the seventh-place spot.
Along with Purdue’s Moore and Hummel, the men’s all-tournament team includes The Vols’ Chism and Smith, DePaul’s Will Walker and UNI’s Kwadzo Ahelegbe.

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Paradise Jam once again left the best for last, as the sixth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers held on in the final seconds against ninth-ranked Tennessee to eke out a 73-72 victory Monday night in what was possibly one of the greatest games in Paradise Jam tournament history.
The UVI Sports and Fitness Center was packed for the tourney's ultimate game, with plenty of Tennessee jerseys everywhere, along with a good number of Purdue fans. Excitement was definitely in the air as the tournament's two favorites squared off in what would prove to be a nail biter.
Purdue had an easier time getting to the tournament finals, first taking on South Dakota State, who they beat by 11, and then Saint Joseph's University, who managed to hang with the Boilermakers during the first half of Sunday's game only to get blown out in the second.
For the Volunteers, the tournament started out with a 105-66 victory over East Carolina, but the team ran into a tough test Sunday when it took on DePaul and scraped by with a slim four-point win.
The first half of Monday's championship game was a back-and-forth affair, with four lead changes -- the most important one coming with one second left in the first half, when an E'twuan Moore layup gave Purdue a 42-41 lead into the break.
The second half was pretty much like the first, with both teams staying relatively close to each other, trading shots and leads until about the 2:13 mark, when two free throws by Keaton Grant gave Purdue a six-point lead at 72-66. On the next possession, Tennessee's Taylor Smith got fouled and then cut the deficit to four, after sinking both free throws. A missed jumper by Purdue's Robbie Hummel led to a Wayne Chism layup with 1:15 left to go, leaving Tennessee only down by two, 72-70.
The score remained the same until Hummel found himself on the line with 32 seconds in the game. He missed the first free throw, but hit the second to give Purdue a 73-70 lead. Tennessee's Bobby Maze, held mostly in check during the second half, then notched a layup with 18 seconds left to pull the Vols to within one.
Tennessee quickly fouled Kelsey Barlow, sending Purdue to the line for two. Tennessee needed Barlow to miss at least one of his free throws, but Barlow missed both.
The Vols now had the ball with the seconds running off the clock. Maze tried to penetrate, but the Purdue defense collapsed, causing him to kick it out to a wide open Chism at the top of the key for three -- a shot Chism has made time and again throughout the tournament. But this time it was a brick to the side of the rim.
Barlow rushed over to the corner and grabbed the rebound, sealing the deal for the Boilermakers and making them the tournament's 2009 men's champion, 73-72.
Chism did all he could to help his squad, finishing the game with 24 points and six rebounds. But the duo of Moore and Hummel proved to be too much. Moore, who was named tournament MVP, had 22 points for Purdue, while Hummel followed close behind with 20 and seven rebounds.
In the game for third place, DePaul knocked off Saint Joseph's, 58-51, while the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) grabbed fifth place with an 81-69 win over Boston College, and East Carolina defeated South Dakota State 82-73 to take the seventh-place spot.
Along with Purdue's Moore and Hummel, the men's all-tournament team includes The Vols' Chism and Smith, DePaul's Will Walker and UNI's Kwadzo Ahelegbe.