A quick take on Saturday afternoon’s clutch win for Boeheim’s Army, a 73-69 comeback against the Golden Eagles, in the TBT’s Round of 16 contested at University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio:
WHAT HAPPENED: For just the second time (2017) in the eight year history of TBT, Boeheim’s Army advanced to the event’s semifinals by going on a game-ending 21-6 run, not taking its first lead until the Elam Ending portion (under the 4:00 mark of the 4th quarter). Tyrese Rice hit the game-ending shot with the target score set at 72, a driving floater in the lane that cleanly fell through the hoop, and immediately sent the Boeheim’s Army bench into jubilation mode.
ANALYSIS: Down by 11-points on a couple of occasions after halftime, Boeheim’s Army coach Jeremey Pope expertly used just enough of his bench to spark a slow-but steady-comeback. Standing out were reserves C.J. Fair (6-points) and Tyler Lydon (8-rebounds), who helped eventually wear down the team comprised of ex-Marquette players (Dwight Buycks a game-high 22-points). It’s clear why Boeheim’s Army reached outside the Syracuse alumni group this year adding Reese (B.C.), D.J. Kennedy (St. John’s) and DeAndre Kane (Marshall, Iowa St.), all with TBT championship experience. Besides Reese’s late-game heroics, Kennedy and Kane are steady veteran players who contribute contagious energy to their B.A. teammates.
HERO: Rice kept the $1 million winner-take-all dream alive for Boeheim’s Army with a team-high 20-points, including great penetration of the Golden Eagles defense on the final two drives to the hoop for baskets. The steady Chris McCullough had another TBT double-double with 14-points and 10 rebounds. Malachi Richardson, who earlier in the day signed with Fortitudo Bologna of the Italian League Serie A, hit a big three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer to change the momentum in the fourth quarter.
ZERO: The game may have had an entirely different complexion had Boeheim’s Army taken advantage of consistently getting to the free throw line in the first three 9:00 quarters. Before Rice (2) and Kennedy (1) calmly sank three foul shots in the Elam Ending segment, B.A. was just a combined 6-of-16 from the stripe, finishing a disappointing 9-of-19 for the game.
WHAT’S NEXT: Boeheim’s Army faces Florida TNT (predominantly Florida Gator alums) in one of two TBT semifinals Sunday afternoon in Dayton. Earlier Saturday, Florida TNT was impressive start-to-finish in its 92-63 domination of the AfterShocks (Wichita State), shooting 61% from the field and playing nose-to-nose defense. Dominque Jones led Florida TNT with 18-points. Game Time: 12:00 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN.