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And Exhale: #2 Golden Eagles 77, #7 Ohio 1804 72

The Marquette alumni team let their first round TBT game get waaaaay more interesting than it needed to get, but a win’s a win.

2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Golden State Warriors v LA Clippers
Elgin Cook had 14 points including the Sling Shot to win it.
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Actual conversation from my couch on Sunday night:

MrsB: Are we [expletive] this up?

Me: Yes, we are [expletive] this up.

And so Golden Eagles, the Marquette alumni team in The Basketball Tournament was in fact [expletive] it up. After trailing by seven in the second quarter but leading by as many as 12 in that same quarter thanks to a 20-1 run and going into the fourth quarter with a 57-45 lead, it looked like the MU guys were on their way to getting bounced by #7 seed Ohio 1804 in the first round of the 2022 edition of TBT.

It was all going so well, up to and including when Jamil Wilson committed a foul to trigger the Elam Ending with Golden Eagles holding a 68-53 lead. The #2 seed in the Dayton Regional hit the afterburners in the second quarter and spent the next 17 minutes of hoops keeping the Ohio University alumni squad at an arm’s length. It appeared that all they had to do was calmly score eight points to hit the Elam Ending Target Score of 76 and win.

Darius Johnson-Odom scored to make it 70-55, and Golden Eagles was just six points away. The MU alumni squad missed some shots, oh well, it happens, and then the Ohio guys hit some. 70-59. Not a problem, mostly, especially after Dwight Buycks came up with a steal, 72-59. Four points away.

Derrick Wilson committed a foul that turned into a freebie and the ball because that’s the Elam Ending rules, and then Jamil Wilson got flagged for goaltending a shot that Elgin Cook fouled in the first place. 72-64, going for the and-1, which Antonio Campbell missed..... but Ohio 1804 got the offensive rebound. NOT GOOD.

Thankfully, Maurice Acker was there for the steal, and that ended up turning into Jamil Wilson getting fouled shooting a three. It rolled around every section of the rim before falling off, otherwise Wilson would have been going to the line to win the game. Instead, he went to just get Golden Eagles to the doorstep.

He missed all three.

72-64. Campbell scores on the other end to make it a 7-0 run with a score of 72-66.

It’s not what you want, but at least you have to get outscored 10-3 to still lose the game. One of the upsides of the Elam Ending, y’know?

DJO said the hell with this, and canned a triple to make it 75-66. Nine point game, just need literally anything to win on the next possession. Ohio 1804 missed two putbacks, but got it out of bounds.... and then Jordan Barham traveled. Anything wins the game. MU throws it long..... and Dwight Buycks flubs a layup. They got too cute and hurried it to get anything instead of just calmly running a set to get a bucket.... and Troy Simons converted a second chance to make it 75-68. DJO missed a three, but Campbell did not. 75-71.

Buycks lost control of the ball AND committed a foul, so it’s a freebie and the ball... but thankfully Simons missed the free throw. Teyvion Kirk got fouled in the act of shooting, and he split a pair to make it 75-72. A very costly two misses for Ohio 1804 because making either one gets them to within a made three of the Target Score, so they would have only needed a stop and a three to have come all the way back from down as many as 17 at one point.

This definitely qualifies as [expletive] it up.

But Golden Eagles TBT icon Elgin Cook got his chance in the lane.

Got the foul too, just in case, but he didn’t need it. Did it wearing a pair of Pumas, too, so he cashes a sweet $1,000 check for getting the Sling Shot in those kicks.

That gave Cook 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting overall and 5-for-6 inside the arc, and he added a team high eight rebounds, two assists, and a block to his night. Didn’t lead Golden Eagles in scoring, though, that honor goes to Darius Johnson-Odom, who had a team high 19 points on 5-for-9 shooting plus a team high four assists, too.

Other than that 20-1 run, it was not a pretty game by Golden Eagles, not by a long shot. But it was a win, and in a single elimination tournament where only the one team left standing at the end gets to cash the million dollar prize, that’s all that really matters.


Up Next: Take tomorrow off, everyone, you deserve it. Golden Eagles will be back in action on Tuesday night — 8pm Central time start, just like Sunday night, Marquette main events when they play — when they take on Dayton Regional #3 seed Red Scare. That is the Dayton alumni squad, and they squeaked out a 75-70 win over #6 seed Cititeam on Sunday afternoon. Darrell Davis was the leading scorer for Red Scare in that one, getting 15 points along with five rebounds and an assist.