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ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — New Mexico kept No. 21 Connecticut from winning the lone tournament it could have won this season.
Tournament MVP Kendall Williams scored 15 points and the Lobos staved off a late UConn rally en route to a 66-60 victory in the championship game of the Paradise Jam.
New Mexico (4-0) led by 10 points early in the second half, and by nine with as little as 7:11 left. But UConn (4-1) went on a 10-0 run and took over the lead after three Ryan Boatright free throws with 2:23 to play.
However, the Lobos countered with a 9-0 run, paced by five points from Hugh Greenwood, then made all four foul shots in the final 39 seconds to seal the victory.
"Both teams really fought for three games in four days," said New Mexico coach Steve Alford. "We've started the season doing a really good job at the foul line. We're getting there often, and we're making them."
Indeed, the Lobos hit all 21 free throws on Monday. UConn went to the line just nine times, hitting seven.
"Anytime you can beat your opponent 21-7 at the line, you're probably going to win a lot of games," Alford noted.
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