ST. THOMAS — For the first half and part of the second, Colorado State men’s basketball team looked like it was going to suffer its first loss of the season.

Then the Rams woke up — and went on to win their first-ever Paradise Jam title.

Colorado State rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat upstart Northeastern 71-61 in the tournament’s championship game Monday night at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.

David Roddy — named the tournament’s most valuable player — scored a game-high 27 points and Isaiah Stevens added 13 points and eight assists for the undefeated Rams (6-0).

Jahmyl Telford led three players in double figures for the Huskies (3-3) with 18 points. Nikola Djogo added 17 points and Shaquille Walters had 13 points.

Turning point

This game was going all Northeastern’s way for most of the first half, as the Huskies built a 16-point halftime lead, going up 36-20 on Dischon Thomas’ two free throws with 25 seconds left.

Northeastern increased its lead to 20 points three times early in the second half, the last at 44-24 on a pair of free throws from Djogo with 17 minutes, 15 seconds left.

Then Rams head coach Niko Medved picked up a technical foul — which appeared to ignite something in Colorado State’s players, who went on a 26-4 run over the next 10½ minutes to get back in the game.

Free throws by Roddy and John Tonje gave the Rams a 50-48 lead with 6:39 left. The Huskies tied the game back at 50-all on Telford’s jumper 17 seconds later, but Stevens drove for a layup to put the Rams back in the lead, and kick off another run — 12 unanswered points for a 62-50 lead with 3:18 remaining.

Key players

David Roddy, Colorado State: It wasn’t another 30-point night for the 6-foot-6 junior, but it may be more satisfying. He made 10 of 13 from the field — but only 1 of 3 3-pointers — and 6 of 7 at the free throw line. He also pulled down a team high seven rebounds.

Jahmyl Telford, Northeastern: The 6-7 sophomore finished with a season high in scoring. He made 7 of 19 from the field — 2 of 8 on 3-pointers — and 2 for 4 on free throws. He also had five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

All-Paradise Jam

In addition to Roddy earning MVP honors, five players were named to the Paradise Jam all-tournament team — Stevens, Walters, Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard, Southern Illinois’ Lance Jones and Colorado’s Evan Battey.


• After a record-setting 3-point effort in the semifinals against Creighton, Colorado State had a major letdown against Northeastern. The Rams were only 1 for 11 on 3s in the first half, and finished 4 for 19 in the game. Meanwhile, the Huskies made 5 of 10 3s in the first half, but only 2 for 15 in the second half.

• Northeastern also dominated the boards in the first half. Led by 10 rebounds from Chris Doherty, the Huskies finished the half with a 22-11 advantage over Colorado State. But that changed in the second half — the Rams finished with a 20-11 edge, with Doherty shut out.

• After Colorado State struggled with its shooting in the first half — 8 for 25, or 32% — the Rams turned that around in the final 20 minutes. They made 60% from the field (15 of 25 shots, and 3 of 8 on 3-pointers).

• Colorado State also made up ground at the free throw line. After making just 1 of 2 in the first half, the Rams went 20 for 25 in the second half.