Xavier Falls to No. 8/9 Alabama, 63-56, in Paradise Jam Championship
Nov. 20, 2006
ST. THOMAS, V.I. - Johnny Wolf came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points, but his effort was not enough as Xavier fell to No. 8/9 Alabama, 63-56, in the championship game of the 2006 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. A raucous capacity crowd of 3,032 was treated to a gem of a title game, on the heels of a tournament that was touted as having its best field in its six years on the Island.
Tournament MVP Alonzo Gee and Mykal Riley each scored 13 points to help lead the Crimson Tide (4-0) to the Paradise Jam title. Richard Hendrix had 11 points as Alabama pounded it inside, totaling 40 points in the paint.
Josh Duncan paced Xavier with a game-high 14 points in 29 minutes of action. His career-high nine rebounds was one shy of his first career double-double. Justin Doellman grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight points. Stanley Burrell, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, was held to just four points on 1-of-13 shooting but dished out a career-high seven assists.
Gee scored six in an 8-2 spurt that put the Crimson Tide up 43-42 at the 14:23 mark of the second half. The teams would trade leads back and forth until Hendrix triggered a 16-2 run that put the Tide up for good 62-51 with 3:20 to play. Hendrix had half of Alabama's points in that game-deciding stretch.
But it was Wolf that single-handedly engineered a run that got Xavier right back in the ball game, after trailing by as many as 11 in the first half. Wolf, who did his damage in just 16 minutes, surrounded a pair of three-pointers around a driving layup in transition, cutting Xavier's deficit to one at 28-27 with 2:20 left in the half.
Wolf had 10 points in the first half to lead all scorers. Riley had nine for the Crimson Tide. The Musketeers were just 11-of-34 from the field in the first half, which included just three three-pointers in 14 tries.
Thanks to a tip-in by Justin Doellman at the buzzer, Xavier trailed by just 32-31 at the break.
Xavier stormed out of locker room in the second half and built on its first-half momentum. Extending a run that reached 21-6, Xavier went from down 28-19 in the first half, to leading 40-34 early in the second. Burrell had five and Josh Duncan four to start the second.