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Drake Bulldogs Defeat Tarleton State Texans to Win 2022 Paradise Jam Tournament

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The Drake Bulldogs emerged as victors over the Tarleton State Texans during the 2022 Men’s Paradise Jam Basketball Tournament final game Monday night, overcoming a run by the Texans and ending the game with a 7-point lead.

The annual tournament, a partnership between Basketball Travelers and the V.I. government, is meant to help promote the USVI as a tourism destination, among other benefits, and local leaders were in attendance for the final — among them Governor Albert Bryan Jr.

The win also resulted in Bulldogs Head Coach Darian DeVries 100th career win as a head coach. The team’s leading players also outdid themselves, with Tucker DeVries going 5-for-5 from the field, 8-for-8 from the free throw line, and ending the game with a solid 22-point performance. 

Bulldogs Garrett Sturtz recorded a double-double, 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Their efforts contributed to a solid victory, even as they faced a formidable challenger in the Tarleton State Texans.

Though the Texans fell short, the team, led by Freddy Hicks, fought until the bitter end, with Hicks putting on a stunning performance with a career-high 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting, plus 8-of-11 from the free throw line, and just missing out on a double-double with nine rebounds and two steals. His 30 points are the most scored by a Texan in a game over the past two seasons, according to Tarleton Sports.

The win also resulted in Bulldogs Head Coach Darian DeVries 100th career win as a head coach. And his leading players also outdid themselves, with Tucker DeVriesgoing 5-for-5 from the field, 8-for-8 from the free throw line, and ending the game with a solid 22-point performance. 

Bulldogs Garrett Sturtz recorded a double-double, 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Their efforts contributed to a solid victory from the Bulldogs, even as they faced a formidable challenger in the Tarleton State Texans.

Though the Texans fell short, the team, led by Freddy Hicks, fought until the bitter end, with Hicks putting on a stunning performance with a career-high 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting, plus 8-of-11 from the free throw line, and just missing out on a double-double with nine rebounds and two steals. His 30 points are the most scored by a Texan in a game over the past two seasons, according to Tarleton Sports.

Here’s a breakdown of the game from Tarleton Sports

Drake got off to a hot start in the title bout, going up 6-0 and then 9-3 while clamping down defensively. Tarleton remained calm after the first timeout and tied it 9-9. The two teams went back-and-forth most of the first half, all the way down to around four minutes remaining and the Bulldogs leading 25-22. Drake ended the half on a 10-3 run to lead by double figures at halftime, 35-25. 

The three-point line was the difference in the first 20 minutes, as Drake made 6-of-11 (.546) from beyond the arc, 12-of-24 overall from the floor. Tarleton got plenty of good looks in the first half but just couldn’t get them to fall, a change of pace from their previous games, something they had to work through coming out of the locker room. 

And work through they did. Down 10, 45-35, with under 14 minutes remaining, a game-changing sequence occurred. First Shakur Daniel made a tough layup, then on the other end, Drake seemingly had a dunk, but the ball clanged off the rim. Tarleton grabbed it and hustled down the floor, leading to a Jakorie Smith three-ball that sparked the energy in the team and the gym, showing Tarleton wasn’t going to go away so easily.

Drake responded with a jumper after a timeout, but Hicks buried a three right back to get within four. The Bulldogs then led 51-45 before Tarleton made another run. Hicks made two free throws, the Texans got a stop, Hicks made another bucket, and then Tiger Booker stole the ball and immediately finished a quick layup to tie the game 51-51 with 7:20 left. Drake, an established D1 program in their own right, kept their composure and took control back from there, ultimately winning by seven to take the Paradise Jam crown.

This post was orig­i­nally pub­lished on this site

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