ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Sebastian Saiz scored a career-high 26 points and added 12 rebounds, and Mississippi advanced to the Paradise Jam championship game with an 81-68 victory over Saint Joseph's on Sunday.
Deandre Burnett added 20 points, and Cullen Neal and Rasheed Brooks had 11 each for the Rebels (4-0), who pushed a 41-37 halftime lead to as many as 16 points in the second half.
"We were giving up a lot of free opportunities in the last game (a 95-88 overtime win over Oral Roberts on Friday)," Saiz said. "We used the mentality of `nothing free tonight.' I knew they were going to try to double-team me, but I was ready for it. I knew they weren't going to be able to stop me."
Shavar Newkirk scored 21 points, Charlie Brown had 13 and Lamarr Kimble 10 for the Hawks (3-1), who led twice in the first half, the last at 28-24 on Chris Clover's 3-pointer with 8:56 left.
But Mississippi responded with a 15-5 run over the next five minutes, with Brown's 3-pointer with 3:54 remaining giving the Rebels a 39-33 lead, their biggest of the half.
Mississippi's biggest lead came in the final six minutes, with Justa Furmanavicius tipping in a missed Burnett layup for a 73-57 margin with 5:26 left.
"We had too many missed plays," said Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli, whose team was 10 of 22 from the free throw line Sunday. "We had to keep them off the glass, and didn't do that. But it was our foul shooting -- we started off 0-for-6 to start the half, and we can't be in those situations."
Saint Joseph's: Even with the loss, the Hawks are off to their best start since the 2005-2006 season, when they also opened 3-1. Saint Joseph's went on to finish 19-14 that season.
Mississippi: The Rebels are trying to win their first regular-season tournament since 2014, when Ole Miss won the Emerald Coast Classic title. It would also be the Rebels' first title in a Carribean tournament since taking the 2007 San Juan Shootout.
Saint Joseph's: Will play the loser between N.C. State and No. 22 Creighton in the third-place game Monday.
Mississippi: Will face the N.C. State-Creighton winner in the championship game Monday.