LMU Lions roar to top of Jersey Mike's Jamaica Classic


LMU Lions roar to top of Jersey Mike's Jamaica Classic

Observer writer

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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ROSE HALL, St James – Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Lions were crowned champions of the second Jersey Mike's Jamaica Classic NCAA Men's basketball tournament at the Montego Bay Convention Centre after winning both games in the event that ended on Sunday night.

After handing Georgetown University their first loss in Friday's opening day 65-52, James Batemon was once again the star as he led LMU to a 65-56 win over Ohio University on Sunday to run their record to 5-0 of the season.

After their loss on Friday, Georgetown Hoyas rebounded on Sunday with a thrilling 76-73 overtime win over South Florida; Campbell University also won both games with a 78-72 win over Austin Peay, while Central Connecticut State beat Florida A&M 89-75 in the final game on Sunday.

As he did on Friday, Batemon, a senior, paced Loyola Marymount to their win scoring 16 points and dishing out five assists as they led by as many as 14 points late in the game and never trailed at any time in the contest.

Ohio, who were beaten on Friday by South Florida, rallied to tie the game at 32-32 with 15 minutes and 30 seconds to go in the second half, but never got closer as LMU responded with a 19-7 run over the next nine minutes.

Jeffrey McClendon came off the bench to score 15 points for LMU, including making all three three-point attempts; centre Mattias Markusson, a native of Sweden, scored 12 points and had six rebounds, while Cameron Allen scored 10 points and Dameane Douglas got 10 rebounds.

Ohio University's Jason Carter led all scorers with 18 points, Teyvion Kirk scored 11 points and Ben Vander Plas had 10 points.

In the first game of the day, Georgetown, who had the support of the locals with Jamaican-born Patrick Ewing as head coach, set the tone with an exciting overtime win after giving up a double-digit lead mid-way the first half.

The game saw big swings with nine lead changes with South Florida coming back from trailing by 10 points to leading by 11, thanks in large part to Frenchman Alexis Yetna who had a double-double 11 points and 17 rebounds.

David Collins, who scored 21 points to lead South Florida, almost took them to the win as he scored four-straight points for his team to give them the lead 63-60 with 13 seconds to go, but Georgetown's freshman James Akinjo hit a three-pointer with 4.9 seconds to go to force extra time.

Jessie Govan led Georgetown University with 27 points, including six from behind the three-point line, Akinjo scored 14, while Josh LeBlanc scored nine points and got 10 rebounds after coming off the bench as a substitute.

Laquincy Rideau also scored 13 points for South Florida and TJ Lang scored nine, all from three point shots.

Campbell University Camels had a productive weekend with two wins to take the record to three wins and two losses with a six-point margin over Austin Peay, who lost both games.

Campbell led by just four at half-time 41-37 in a game that saw 10 lead changes and tied six times as Chris Clemons scored 34 points on 12 of 23 shooting and three of eight from the three-point line.

Cory Gensler added 25 for Campbell University, while Terry Taylor had a double-double for Austin Peay, 17 points and 10 rebounds, Steve Harris and Zach Glotta both scored 13 points and Ivan Cucak scored 10.

In the final game, Central Connecticut led by as many as 23 points, but had to scramble late to hold off Florida A&M who cut the lead to single digits several times late in the second half.

Five Central Connecticut players, including four starters, scored in double digits led by Tyler Kohl with 20 points and 12 rebounds, Jamir Coleman scored 19 points, Deion Bute scored 14, Ian Krishnan scored 13 with Joe Hughley coming off the bench to score 10 points and had six rebounds in 16 minutes.

Just two Florida A&M players managed to score in double digits, Justin Ravenel with 14 points, 11 from the free-throw line and Rod Melton scored 13, including two three-pointers. DJ Jones and Richard Anderson both scored nine points.

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