ST THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 20 points and hauled in seven rebounds, Daishon Knight finished with 18 points, and Illinois State beat Weber State 73-64 in the opening round of the Paradise Jam on Friday night.
Reggie Lynch added 12 points on 5-of-9 from the field for the Red Birds (1-1), who outrebounded Weber State 17-9 on the offensive end and held a 42-24 advantage on points in the paint.
Joel Bolomboy scored 20 points to lead Weber State (1-2). Richaud Gittens added 12 for the Wildcats, who struggled from the field, shooting just 18-of-42.
Illinois State used a 12-0 run to build 44-28 by the end of the first half. The Wildcats would get within five late in the second, but could not complete the comeback.
Illinois State will play Old Dominion in the semifinal on Sunday. Weber State will play LSU in a consolation game on Saturday.