Nevada Dominates on Way to Paradise Jam Title

Jalen Harris of the University of Nevada was named MVP of the Paradise Jam after leading the Wolfpack to the title. (Source photo by Kyle Murphy)
Jalen Harris of the University of Nevada was named MVP of the Paradise Jam after leading the Wolf Pack to the title. (Source photo by Kyle Murphy)

University of Nevada dominated the championship game in convincing fashion, leading from start to finish Monday night to defeat Bowling Green University, 77-62, at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.

The Wolf Pack was up by double-digits after six minutes and never looked back. The closest Bowling Green got in the second half was 11 points.

The Paradise Jam Player of the Game was Nevada’s Jalen Harris with 20 points and Daeqwon Plowden, who led the Falcons with 13 points.

Dylan Frye made the All-Tournament team for runner-up Bowling Green. (Source photo by Kyle Murphy)
Dylan Frye made the All-Tournament team for runner-up Bowling Green. (Source photo by Kyle Murphy)

Cincinnati needed overtime to clinch third place, beating Valparaiso by an 81-77 count. The Bearcats were up 12 with 10 minutes left but the Crusaders came storming back to force overtime after Eron Gordon hit a three-pointer with 45 seconds left to tie the game at 70 to force the extra period.

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Valparaiso led 77-76 with a minute and a half left in overtime but Cincinnati’s Mika Adams-Wood hit a layup and Keith Williams sunk two free throws and the Bearcats led 80-77 with 20 seconds left and held on for the victory.

The Paradise Jam Player of the Game was Chris Vogt with 21 points while Valparaiso’s Javon Freeman-Liberty had 32 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

In the fourth place game, Fordham scored the game’s first five points but Western Kentucky outscored them 19-2 over the next seven minutes to take a 12-point lead with just over 10 minutes left in the first half. Western Kentucky led at half 37-22.

Fordham’s Chuba Ohams’ layup with 9:45 left made the score 50-45. A Charles Bassey bucket got Western Kentucky’s lead back to double-digits with just over eight minutes remaining. Fordham cut the lead to six with two minutes remaining and Erten Gazi made it a three-point game with a three-pointer with 1:05 left in the game. Camron Justice hit two free throws with 11.8 on the clock to seal the victory.

Bassey was the Paradise Jam Player of the Game with a double-double that included 24 points and 12 rebounds. Antwon Portley led the Rams with 17 points and seven assists.

The seventh place game was a close contest as well, with Grand Canyon pulling off its first victory of Paradise Jam.

Zach Copeland’s layup with just over six and a half minutes tied the game at 52. The teams exchanged a basket each before Grand Canyon scored five in a row to lead 59-54 with 4:42 to go.

Jaycee Hillman’s falling floater got the Redbirds deficit down to one point, 64-63, with 1:05 to go.

Isiah Brown hit two free throws with 7.7 seconds left in the game to give the Antelopes a three-point advantage.

Dedric Boyd missed a three-pointer for Illinois State and J.J Rhymes sunk two more free throws for Grand Canyon with less than a second to ice the game.

Brown was the Paradise Jam Player of the Game with 21 points on 7 of 10 shooting while Copeland led the Redbirds with the same tally.

The tournament’s MVP was Harris from Nevada. The All-Tournament squad included Jazz Johnson of Nevada; Frye, Bowling Green; Freeman-Liberty, Valparaiso; Vogt, Cincinnati; and Bassey, Western Kentucky.

Play in the women’s tournament begins Thursday, Nov. 28, with a slate of eight undefeated teams vying for the title.

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