Dwight Buycks drew a foul on a contested three pointer with less than a second left to play, but canned all three freebies to break a tie and give Golden Eagles Alumni a 95-92 victory in the first round of 2016’s The Basketball Tournament.
It was a bananas game, with the team of Marquette alumni trailing by as many as 15 at one point early in the second half. High pressure defense and heads up attacking gave GEA the chance to come back against a Hoopville Warriors team that had won two games in each of the first two editions of TBT.
The MU squad was a little shorthanded, as Trent Lockett, Davante Gardner, and Jamil Wilson were all missing. Gardner is in Las Vegas for a tryout with a Korean team, and you can’t fault him for locking down that big guaranteed paycheck. Wilson was with the Los Angeles Lakers for Summer League just 24 hours earlier, and hustling back to Chicago after playing late in Sin City is no joke. No word on where Lockett was, but hopefully GEA can stay in the tournament long enough for him to join up.
Buycks’ final three free throws gave him 27 on the night, the top total for any scorer. Joe Chapman was electric from downtown for GEA, going 6-for-9 on triples and finishing with 20 points. Darius Johnson-Odom (12) and Jerel McNeal (19) also cracked into double digits. Hoopville had five guys in double digits, led by 20 points from Malcolm Griffin.
Golden Eagles Alumni advances to Sunday’s second round game, where they’ll take on Spartan Heroes, the team of Michigan State alumni. According to the bracket on TheTournament.com, it looks like game time is set for 4:15pm.