The Ole Miss Rebels will take on the Creighton Bluejays in the Paradise Jam Championship Game tonight at 7:30 p.m. Both teams come into tonight’s game unscathed at 4-0, but one will pick up their first loss of the season tonight.
The Rebels advanced to the championship game after knocking Oral Roberts out on Friday, and Saint Joseph’s yesterday. In the win over Oral Roberts, Deandre Burnett hit nine 3-ponters on his way to a career-high and Paradise Jam record 41 points. A Burnett 3 tied the game with 33 seconds remaining. The Rebels needed overtime to take down the Golden Eagles 95-88, adding to the numerous close calls to start the season. The Rebels turnover issues persisted as they finished with 16 but were outdone by Oral Roberts’ 17, which the Rebels were able to turn into 19 points.
The Rebels took down Saint Joseph’s 81-68 to clinch their spot in the Paradise Jam Championship game behind a big night from their senior leader Sebastian Siaz. Siaz finished with a career-high 26 points and added 12 rebounds.
“We were giving up a lot of free opportunities in the last game,” Saiz said. “We used the mentality of ‘nothing free tonight.’ I knew they were going to try to double-team me, but I was ready for it. I knew they weren’t going to be able to stop me.”
Siaz was one of four Rebels in double figures along with another solid outing from Burnett, who finished with 20 points. The starters carried the Rebels to victory, getting just 11 points from the bench, including three from Terrence Davis. Davis has shown much improvement in this young season, now averaging 12 PPG. The Rebels will need more from Davis and the bench if they hope to take home the Paradise Jam trophy. While Burnett and Siaz can’t carry the load each night for the Rebels, the rest of the Rebels have shown their ability to move the ball and play an unselfish brand of basketball.
The Creighton Blue Jays have put up points in bunches on their way to the championship game scoring 103 in their win over Washington State and 112 against NC State. The Rebels must contain their explosive offense and control the tempo of tonight’s game. The 12th ranked Bluejays have built an impressive early resume, taking down 9th ranked Wisconsin 79-67. The Bluejays are led by junior guard Marcus Foster, averaging 16.2 PPG. Point Guard Maurice Watson Jr. is the nation’s leader in assists per game with 9.8. Greg McDermott has coached the Bluejays since 2010 reaching the NCAA Tournament three times.
Tip-off from the UVI Sports and Fitness Center is at 7:30 p.m. central time and can be seen on CBS Sports Network. Cabell Phillpot will be on the call on the Ole Miss Radio Network. The game can also be heard on OleMissSports.com, and seen on FloHoops.com.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.