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Sebastian Saiz’s career night leads Ole Miss men’s basketball past St. Joe’s, into Paradise Jam final

Sebastian Saiz led four Rebels in double figures with a career-high 26 points, and the Ole Miss men’s basketball team advanced to the Paradise Jam championship game with an 81-68 win over St. Joseph’s on Sunday in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ole Miss (4-0), which notched its first win over a KenPom top-1oo team, will take on either N.C. State or No. 22 Creighton for the title Monday at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Saiz also pulled down 12 rebounds for his 11th career double-double. Deandre Burnett followed up his 41-point effort against Oral Roberts two days earlier with 20 points while Cullen Neal and Rasheed Brooks added 11 apiece.

St. Joseph’s (3-1) got 21 points from Shavar Newkirk and 13 points from Charlie Brown.

Saiz scored 16 points in the first half and the Rebels’ first seven of the second half to spark a 12-5 run that gave Ole Miss its first double-digit lead. Ole Miss controlled things from there, leading by as many as 16 on a tip-in by Justas Furmanavicius with 5 minutes, 23 seconds left while holding the Hawks to 39.3 percent shooting (11 of 28) in the second half, including 18 percent (2 of 11) from 3-point range.

Ole Miss committed a season-low 14 turnovers and finished plus-9 (42-33) on the glass (42-33) with Furmanavicius grabbing 10 boards. The Rebels shot 79 percent (15 of 19) from the free throw line while St. Joseph’s hit just 10 of its 22 free throws.