ST. THOMAS, VI-- Illinois State (2-1) defeated ODU, 64-45 in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam Tournament Sunday night. ODU (3-1) will play Gardner-Webb Monday night at 6:30 ET, while Illinios State will meet Seton Hall for the Championship game at 9 p.m. Both games will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. The loss was the Monarchs first of the season.
Junior guard Trey Freeman led the Monarchs with 16 points, followed by senior forward Richard Ross with 15 points and five rebounds. ODU shot .340 (17-50) from the field, while ISU hit .490 (25-51) of its shots. ODU also turned the ball over 13 times to ISU's 14, but the Red Birds capitalized with 20 points off ODU turnvers, while ODU scored only three. Richard Ross was six-for-seven from the field for the Monarchs, while Reggie Lynch was five-of six for ISU.
Illinois State, who is from the Missouri Valley led the game from beginning to end jumping out to a 9-0 lead which expanded to 16 at 22-6 with 8:35 left in the half.
The Monarchs would rally and cut the lead to five, 29-24 with 1:09 remaining in the first half after a Richard Ross layup, but baskets from Bobby Hunter and Devaughn Akoon-Purcell pushed the lead to nine, 33-24 going into halftime.
In the second half, the Monarchs would get no closer than nine, 35-26 with 17:47 left on a Richard Ross layup.
ISU had four players in double figures led by Devaughn Akoon-Purcell with 12 points and six rebounds, while Bobby Hunter added 12 points. The Redbirds outrebounded the Monarchs, 35-26 led by Daishon Knight with a game high eight.
Junior guard Aaron Bacote and sophomore forward Denzell Taylor led the Monarchs in assists with three.