The opening jump of Paradise Jam happened on Friday afternoon at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center, tipping off the start of the 2021 Paradise Jam Basketball Tournament featuring top collegiate basketball teams from throughout the United States. Day one was off and running, with four exciting games scheduled in the men’s division.
Game 1 – Colorado State University 66 – Bradley University 60
David Roddy of the Colorado State Rams played like a man on a mission as he scored 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds in his team’s win over Bradley Braves to open the 2021 Paradise Jam. Bradley, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, controlled much the entire first half, holding their opponents from the Mountain West Conference to just 24% shooting. Coach Niko Medved’s halftime speech seemed to inspire his boys as the Colorado State Rams shot 58% from the field in the second half. David Roddy scored 23 of his 30 points in the final frame for the Rams. John Tonje and Dischon Thomas added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for Colorado State University. Bradley’s Robert Terry dropped 24 points, and two of his teammates, Ja’Shon Henry and Ville Tahvanainen, deposited 10 points each in a losing effort.
Up next for Bradley University in this tournament is Brown University. The Rams of Colorado were set to take on Creighton on Sunday evening.
Game 2 – Creighton University 78 – Brown University 57
Creighton University Bluejays from the Big East had little trouble with the Ivy League school Brown University Bears as the Bluejays flew away with a 78-57 victory Friday at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center. The Bluejays never trailed as they opened the game with a 26-10 run. The lead ballooned to 24 points with 11:22 left to go in regulation. All five starters for Creighton scored in double digits, led by Ryan Kalkbrenner’s 19 points and Ryan Hawkins’s 15 points. The other starters for Creighton, Alex O’Connell, Arthur Kaluma, and Ryan Nembhard, added 13, 13, and 10 points, respectively. Paxson Wojcik’s 12 points led the Bears. Kino Lilly Jr. came off the bench and scored 10 points for Brown University.
Brown University was to take on Bradley University on day two of this four-day tournament. Creighton University was set to see the Rams of Colorado State University in their second game of Paradise Jam.
Game 3 – Northeastern University 71 – Duquesne University 55
Northeastern University Huskies made five consecutive baskets before Duquesne University Dukes could get on the board in the third game of the opening day of Paradise Jam. The Huskies from the Colonial Athletic Association shot 60% from the field, including 44% from behind the arc. Conversely, Atlantic-10 team Duquesne shot 31% from the field. The Dukes made four of the 21 three-pointers they launched in this game. That was too much to overcome for the Dukes as Northeastern coasted to a 71–55 victory. Shaquille Walters led the way for the Huskies with 21 points. Vito Cubrilo and Chris Doherty chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively. Primo Spears logged 15 points for Duquesne. Tre Williams registered a double-double for the Dukes, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Colorado University is up next for Duquesne University. Northeastern was to play the Salukis of Southern Illinois University on Sunday.
Game 4 – Southern Illinois University 67 – University of Colorado 63
The final game of the opening day of Paradise Jam pitted Southern Illinois University Salukis of the Missouri Valley Conference against the University of Colorado, representing the Pac-12. The Buffaloes of Colorado threatened to run away with this one early as the Buffs jumped out to a 12-1 lead. However, the Salukis went on a 25-7 run sparked by back-to-back three-pointers by Marcus Domask and Steven Verplancken, giving Southern Illinois an eight-point cushion at halftime. The Salukis lead the entire second half coming up with timely responses every time the Buffaloes made the game a one-possession contest. Verplancken, Domask, and Jones led the Salukis with 18, 17, and 14 points, respectively. In a losing effort, Jabari Walker 16 points and Tristan de Silva 15 paced the Buffaloes offensive attack.
The University of Colorado will face Duquense University in their next game, while Southern Illinois University was to square off with Northeastern on Sunday.
Game 5 – Brown University 65 – Bradley University 62
This was a seesaw battle between The Brown University Bears and the Braves of Bradley University as the lead changed hands a total of 12 times, and the game was tied 10 times. Brown took control of the game late in the first half, taking a seven-point lead into intermission. Bradley University started in the second half with a 16-7 run ending in a two-point lead seven minutes into that frame. The Bears found themselves trailing by three with 3:30 left on the clock. Kino Lilly Jr. hit a three for Brown, tying the game at 59. His teammate Paxson Wojcik also nailed a three-pointer, putting the Bears in front for good.
The Bears David Mitchell, Dan Friday and Lilly Jr. and the Braves Malevy Leons and Connor Hickman ended the game with 11 points scored.
Bradley University will end their tournament with a match-up against Duquesne University at 2 p.m. on Monday. Brown University will try to tame the Buffaloes of Colorado at 4:15 p.m. on Monday.
Game 6 – University of Colorado 84 – Duquesne University 76
The University of Colorado Buffaloes started slow for the second consecutive game as they trailed the entire first half against Duquesne University Dukes. The Dukes played like warriors the whole game, led by Kevin Easley’s double-double, scoring a game-high 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Duquesne continued to control the game in the second half, growing their lead to as many as 11 points twice in that frame. But like a herd of Buffaloes, the Buffs kept on charging, gaining ground as the game went on. They finally tied the game for the first time at 60 with 5:05 minutes left in the game. Undaunted, the Dukes forged ahead, rebuilding a three-point lead with just 21 seconds left in regulation. Coach Tad Boyle called a time-out and drew up a play. In the waning moments of regulation, Tristan de Silva caught a pass from K.J. Simpson and calmly drained a three-pointer, sending this game into overtime. Colorado took their first lead of the game with 4:22 left in the extra period, and they never looked back. The Buffs outscored the Dukes in the extra period 16-8.
Evan Battey dropped 18 points for Colorado while his teammate Jabari Walker contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds. Keeshawn Barthelemy, Simpson, and de Silva all added 12, 11, and 10 points, respectively, for the Buffaloes. Easley’s 19 points, Tre Williams’s 17 points, and Leon Ayers III’s 15 bench points fueled the Duke’s offensive game.
Duquesne University will take on Bradley University at 2 p.m. on Monday. The University of Colorado will close out their Paradise Jam schedule battling Brown University at 4:15 p.m. on Monday.
This event is being held with the blessing of the Virgin Islands Department of Health. The Sports and Fitness Center doors are open to both the vaccinated and non-vaccinated.
Here are the procedures:
You must walk with your vaccination card or prove that you have taken the vaccine for vaccinated individuals. A picture ID is also required before entry.
Non-vaccinated spectators must produce a negative COVID test result no more than two days old. The Department of Health will be conducting FREE on-site testing on individuals who are not vaccinated but desire to attend the tournament. Those individuals must also show identification upon entering the arena. So, everyone is invited to journey to the Sports and Fitness Center and enjoy top-quality college basketball.
Here are the times the DOH will be conducting on-site testing:
Monday, Nov. 22: noon–7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 25: noon-3 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 26: noon-3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 27: noon-3 p.m.