Hot Shots: Women’s Paradise Jam Stages Battle 4 Atlantis Semi-Finals

Baylor is headed to the Paradise Jam championship game, which means Frank Martin needs only one point of experience to reach the coaching finals of the weekend. Jaylen Hoard had 24 points and 13…

Hot Shots: Women’s Paradise Jam Stages Battle 4 Atlantis Semi-Finals

Baylor is headed to the Paradise Jam championship game, which means Frank Martin needs only one point of experience to reach the coaching finals of the weekend.

Jaylen Hoard had 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead Baylor to a 69-61 victory over VCU on Friday night in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

It’s been a dominant tournament for Martin and Baylor (5-0), which has won three of its first five games by an average of 26.6 points. They average 15.2 points per game at Paradise Jam compared to Baylor’s 10.7 per game at its own regular-season Big 12 tournament.

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Here is a look at what went on in the women’s Paradise Jam semi-finals

Martin was trying to become the first coach to win two tournaments at different venues since Jack Gardner did it at Colonial Life Arena in Orlando in 1967 and in the Fargo Dome in Fargo, North Dakota in 1972.

If it comes to the finals, Baylor will play Stanford at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Cardinal beat Oklahoma 84-72 in the other semi.

Hoard went 8 for 13 from the field and 9 for 9 from the free throw line. On Friday, Baylor shot 51 percent (21 of 41) and held VCU to 34 percent (18 of 50). Baylor was dominant inside, outscoring VCU 46-26 in the paint.

The Bears led 35-24 at halftime and 51-38 after three quarters.

Quincy Acy had 14 points and six rebounds, while Isaiah Austin had 13 points.

Neither team shot well from the field the first half (both got 38 percent) but VCU was 2 of 12 from 3-point range and Baylor was 2 of 9.

With the exception of T.J. Cline, who had 18 points for VCU, the Rams did not appear to have much room to move. Cline, the Rams’ leading scorer, shot 3 of 16 from the field. He did not start.

After leading by 14 early in the second half, Baylor turned back a VCU run that included a pair of 3-pointers by Cline. The Rams cut it to 47-40 but Hoard and Javan Felix had three-point plays that put Baylor up by nine.

Hoard had 11 points in the first half, as Baylor led 37-22 at halftime.

VCU trailed by 16, 12, nine and eight points in the first half, but pulled within 32-25 on Jalen Johnson’s 3-pointer with 7:34 left in the half.

The Rams used a 11-4 run to get back within six points, but Acy made a pair of baskets to restore the Baylor lead to nine. However, that did not stop VCU from getting back within two, setting up an 11-0 run that tied the game at 42 on a Jordan Burgess 3-pointer with 6:49 left.

That’s as close as VCU would get.

Texas A&M was the winner in the first semifinal. The Aggies were up by as many as 11 points early in the second half but held on for a 67-60 victory over Connecticut.

A&M had 31 assists while committing only 15 turnovers.

Ryan Dentmon and J’Mychal Reese had 18 points each, and JoJo McGlaston had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

A&M had 17 turnovers, while the Huskies committed 20.

Connecticut (3-1) was trying to reach the Paradise Jam final for the first time since 2012.

Connecticut and Xavier met in the 2009 finals and again in the 2013 semifinals.

Connecticut lost its only other game against a top-15 team this season (vs. Louisville).

Connecticut hasn’t won the Women’s Paradise Jam since its first attempt back in 2008.

Rebounding was a big problem for the Huskies, who were outrebounded 46-42 by the Aggies.

In addition to the 12 first-half rebounds, A&M forced nine turnovers that led to 17 points.

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