ST. THOMAS, USVI - Sebastian Saiz had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead Ole Miss to an 81-68 win over Saint Joseph's in the semifinals of the 2016 Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands.
The Hawks (3-1) will play the loser of the Creighton-NC State game in the third-place game on Monday at 6 p.m. EST (7 p.m. local)., with the national telecast on the CBS Sports Network.
Shavar Newkirk had 21 points and six assists for the Hawks, hitting 7-of-11 from the field and 6-of-10 from the foul line. Freshman Charlie Brown scored 13 points and Lamarr Kimble had 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds for SJU.
Saiz shot 9-for-13 from the field for the Rebels (4-0), while Deandre Burnett scored 20 points. Ole Miss outrebounded the Hawks, 42-33.
The Hawks didn’t help themselves at the foul line, shooting just 10-for-22 in the game, while Ole Miss shot 15-for-19.
Leading 41-37 at halftime, Ole Miss opened the half with a 12-5 run to take its biggest lead at that point, 53-42, at 16:15.
The Hawks chipped away and after a putback by Baumann, and a layup and then a free throw by Kimble, cut the deficit to 54-49. But Ole Miss had an answer every time, as Terence Davis’ three-pointer built the Rebels’ lead back to 57-49.
After falling behind by double digits again, 60-50, the Hawks cut it to eight, 60-52, on free throws by Newkirk, but that would be the closest SJU would come the rest of the way. Ole Miss went on a 13-5 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 73-57, with 5:23 remaining.
In the first half, after SJU had a 10-8 lead, Ole Miss went on an 11-4 run to go up 17-12. But the Hawks chipped away and Chris Clover’s first three of the game pulled them within 21-19. Trailing 24-19, Newkirk hit five straight and Clover connected on another long-range shot to give SJU a 28-24 lead. The Rebels regained the lead 29-28 and increased it to 32-28.
Trailing 35-30, the Hawks closed to 35-33 on a three by Nick Robinson. The Rebels then took their biggest lead of the half, 39-33, on a three by Neal with under four minutes to play. SJU closed within 39-37 on a three by Brown before Ole Miss ended the half with a basket at the buzzer.
“Too many missed plays. We’re walking out of here as a Division I team 10-for-22 from the foul line. It’s my fault. We have to shoot more,” said SJU head coach Phil Martelli. “We knew we had keep them off the glass. They hit a big bucket at the end of the half to put them up four after we had missed a four-footer. Then the spurt at the beginning of the second half but we missed six of seven free throws and we can’t do that.”