Missouri was able to defeat Oregon State 69-63 and Kansas State dispatched Penn 64-48 in Paradise Jame action Sunday night at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.
Missouri started hot in Sunday’s opening game, getting off to a 12-4 advantage over the OSU Beavers in the first four minutes.
Oregon State closed to within four points with around nine minutes left in the half but Mark Smith connected on his second three of the half, making the lead was 19-12. But Smith picked up his second foul 11 seconds later and was forced to sit the rest of the half.
Later in the half, with the Tigers’ lead up to 10, Oregon State responded with a 10-2 run of its own to cut the deficit to two points, 26-24, as Alfred Hollins knocked down a corner three with 5:22 left in the half.
Missouri wasn’t able to widen that margin much as they they led 32-28 at the halftime break.
Smith’s foul trouble continued as he picked up his third within 1:10 and returned quickly to the bench. He wasn’t the only Tiger to be in foul trouble, as Jeremiah Tilmon picked up his third and was forced to the bench with 15:56 left in the half.
With the pair sitting, the Beaver’s Stephen Thompson Jr. knocked down his second three pointer of the half to tie the game at 39.
The teams traded baskets until the score was 48-48 with about 10 minutes left. That’s when Jordan Geist ignited a 13-0 Missouri run that lasted three minutes and gave the Tigers the separation they need to clinch their spot in the championship game.
For Missouri it was duo of Geist and Kevin Puryear that lead the charge, as Geist dropped in a game-high 21 points and Puryear had 17.
For OSU, Tres Tinkle extend his double-digit scoring streak to 39 games with 17 points. Thompson had 15 and Hollins had 14 points.
In the second game of the night it looked like Penn was going to give Kansas State trouble, as the Quakers took the momentum early and opened up an eight-point advantage, after Michael Wang knocked down a lay up with just over seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Kansas State was not going to let the game get out of hand, and used a 15-2 run to end the half up 28-21.
Penn’s Devon Goodman hit a three pointer for the first basket of the half to trim the deficit to 4, the closest the game got in the second half, before Kansas State started running away with it, pushing its lead to 11 points with just under 13 minutes left in the game.
Penn once again fought back, trimming the margin to six with over nine minutes to play but Kansas State outscored the Quakers 18-8 down the stretch to secure its spot in the Paradise Jam title game.
The Wildcats got strong performances from Dean Wade, who had a team-high 17 points. Kamau Stokes added 16 points and Xavier Sneed contributed 11.
Goodman had a game-high 18 points while Wang added 16 to keep Penn in the ballgame.
The seventh place game between Kennesaw State and Eastern Kentucky starts Monday’s action, followed by the fifth place game in which Northern Iowa will take on Old Dominion at 4 p.m. Oregon State will play Penn at 6:30. Half an hour after that game concludes Kansas State and Missouri will vie for the title.