Home News Local news Paradise Jam Opens With Marathon of Games, Lively Crowds

Paradise Jam Opens With Marathon of Games, Lively Crowds


Nov. 17, 2006 The annual Paradise Jam opened Friday with a marathon four games, an ever-growing crowd and at least one Caribbean homecoming for Iowa center and Antigua native Kurt Looby.
The annual tournament set a first-day attendance record 2,468 people.
Tenth-ranked Alabama opened the tournament with a 71-62 win over Middle Tennessee State at the UVI campus on St. Thomas.
Ronald Steele had 20 points and four assists to lead the Crimson Tide, who were playing without starting senior center Jermareo Davidson, who did not travel with the team after the death of his girlfriend in a car accident last week.
Richard Hendrix added 16 points and eight rebounds for Alabama and Alonzo Gee chipped in 12 points and six rebounds.
Tim Blue scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Blue Raiders, who shot just 40 percent from the free-throw line in the first half, 50 percent from the stripe for the game.
Davidson is expected to arrive Saturday, but it was still unclear whether he would play Sunday against Iowa.
–Iowa 78, Toledo 65–
Freshman forward Tyler Smith racked up 28 points, six rebounds and five assists to lead Iowa over Toledo 78-65.
Justin Ingram led the Toledo Rockets with 22 points, four steals and four rebounds, and Keonta Howell added 16 points and six rebounds. Florentino Valencia had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Iowa center Kurt Looby, an Antigua native, added 13 points, nine rebounds and a block for the Hawkeyes. He missed a dunk early in the second half, but put in his own rebound while still hanging on the rim. No foul was called.
Looby dunked off an alley oop from Smith to put Iowa up 70-61 with three minutes left.
Looby's mother, Olivet, who lives in St. John's, made her first-ever trip to the territory for the game.
"I think he played well," she said from the stands at UVI's Sports and Fitness Center.
Kurt's mind was mostly on basketball, but said he looked forward to showing his teammates the Caribbean.
"I'm just excited for the guys and them to come and see where I'm from," he said after the game.
The crowd steadily increased throughout the evening, and a close game between Virginia Commonwealth and Xavier was almost deafening as local and traveling fans screamed over each other to cheer their teams.
–Xavier 70, Virginia Commonwealth 67–
Drew Lavender had 14 points and five assists to lead Xavier in a narrow, thriller win over Virginia Commonwealth 70-67.
Justin Cage and Stanley Burrell each had 11 points for Xavier, and Justin Doellman yanked down 10 rebounds.
B.A. Walker led Virginia Commonwealth with 21 points, and Jamal Schuler added 13.
Up by as much as 12 in the second half, Xavier let their lead slip to six after several VCU defensive stops, capped by a breakaway layup by Schuler, cut the lead to six.
Then Jesse Pellot-Rosa's layup off a miss by Walker brought the Rams within four with 1:10 to play. A jumper by Walker cut the lead to two.
Two free throws by Burrell put Xavier up 68-64. A deep three-pointer by Pellot-Rosa cut Xavier's lead to one at 68-67.
Lavender made one of two free throws, and Xavier immediately called timeout with 17.1 seconds left.
Pellot-Rosa's heroics failed on another deep three-point attempt, and a quick foul put Xavier's Derrick Brown at the line with 5.6 seconds left. Brown hit one of two foul shots.
Rams forward Wil Fameni missed a layup at the buzzer.
–Villanova 81, College of Charleston 68–
Gubernatorial candidate John deJongh arrived in time for the last game, which saw Villanova beat College of Charleston 81-68.
Curtis Sumpter had 17 points and five rebounds to lead Villanova, while Mike Nardi added 16, Will Sheridan 14 points and eight rebounds, and Shane Clark 14 points and six rebounds.
Josh Jackson led College of Charleston with 13 points and four rebounds. David Lawrence added 11 points and three assists.
On Sunday, in the second round of the four-day tournament, Villanova will play Xavier, while College of Charleston plays Virginia Commonwealth.
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