No. 12 Kansas St faces Missouri in Paradise Jam title game
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — Dean Wade wanted nothing more than to win a regular-season tournament title for Kansas State coach Bruce Weber.
The Wildcats (5-0) won their first regular-season tournament championship in four tries under Weber, and Kansas State’s first since 2011.
“A lot of it has to do with the past three years,” Wade said. “We’ve had the games, and we’ve let them slip away. This year, we came out and kept the foot on the pedal. That was a big step for us maturing as a team.”
“It’s all part of growing as a team and getting better,” Weber said. “We had a great run last year, and we’ve had some good moments with all the seniors each year. But now, can we be special and take that next step? This was our first big challenge.”
Jordan Geist had 24 points, Xavier Pinson added 12 and Mark Smith 11 for Missouri (3-2), which trailed by as many as eight points in the first 5½ minutes.
However, the Tigers rallied to tie the game four times, the last at 27-all on Reed Nikko’s dunk with 4:17 remaining.
Wade — named the tournament’s most valuable player — hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 13-0 run to close the first half by the Wildcats, who took a 40-27 lead at the break on Cartier Diarra’s layup with two seconds remaining.
Kansas State would extend its lead to as many as 22 points in the second half, going up 58-36 on Levi Stockard’s layup with 12:50 left.
The Tigers would pull no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats shot 54.5 percent (30 of 55) from the field Monday, and made a season-best 50 percent of their 3-point attempts (12 of 24).
“I thought K-State shot the ball well from 3, that’s the biggest thing,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “Wade made some great plays, getting to the rim. He made 3-point shots — he was 0-for-4 going into the game, but he made those shots, and it just opened it up for him. His confidence grew, and that made the difference.”
OREGON STATE 74, PENN 58
Tres Tinkle had a career-high 32 points and 12 rebounds, and the Beavers shook off a slow start to beat the Quakers in the third-place game.
Stephen Thompson Jr. added 11 points, six assists and four steals and Kylor Kelley scored 10 for Oregon State (4-1), which overcame an early 10-1 deficit in the first five minutes.
Devon Goodman had 13 points and Antonio Woods added 11 for Penn (4-2), which has now lost two straight after opening the season with four consecutive wins.
The Beavers led by as many as 20 points in the second half, going up 73-53 on Kelley’s tipin with 2:10 remaining.
NORTHERN IOWA 54, OLD DOMINION 53
A.J. Green scored 15 points, including a key basket down the stretch, as the Panthers held off the Monarchs in the fourth-place game.
With Northern Iowa (3-2) ahead 29-21 with 19:33 left, Old Dominion (2-3) rallied to tie the game four times, the last at 50-all with 2:15 left. But Green hit a jumper 22 seconds later to put the Panthers back in the lead for good.
Isaiah Brown made a pair of free throws with 17 seconds remaining to give Northern Iowa some breathing room.
Ahmad Caver, who finished with a game-high 24 points for Old Dominion, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.
EASTERN KENTUCKY 100, KENNESAW STATE 81
Jomaru Brown added 21 points and Peyton Broughton had 13 for Kennesaw State (3-3), which led by as many as 21 points.
Tyler Hooker scored 29 points, Kyle Clarke added 20 and Ugo Obineke had 16 for the Owls (1-5), who lost their fifth straight.