(Game highlights courtesy of TBT/ESPN)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Marshall alumni team Herd That battled back from an 18-point deficit to stun The Money Team in the second round of The Basketball Tournament, 102-99. Herd That will face 4-time TBT champion and No. 2 seed Overseas Elite in the quarterfinal round Saturday at 2 p.m.
Ryan Luther’s off-balance leaner in the lane closed it out for Herd That after they entered the ‘Elam Ending’ trailing by nine points. Herd That’s first lead of the ball game came just seconds earlier on a Jacorey Williams slam dunk, giving them a 100-99 lead. The target score was 101.
“We knew it was going to be a game of runs,” said Williams. “Everybody kept playing with confidence. We trust each other. We just kept playing. We never panicked.
“My job is to make sure we stay in it mentally. I am just playing hard as hell trying to get my team to keep playing with me.”
Chris Cokley led Herd That with 32 points while Williams added 30. Zach Smith added a dozen points and he is 10-for-10 shooting from the floor in the TBT. Luther scored 9 points and Jon Elmore added 7 more and grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds.
Herd That allowed 40 points in the first quarter but they trimmed the deficit to just seven points at halftime. The Money Team was outscored 16-2 to close out the game.
“We never got nervous,” said Jon Elmore. “We battled, we took away some of those looks. It’s back to everyone being on the same page [defensively].
“When the game was on the line, we sat down, put the handcuffs on and took them out of the game. They couldn’t run anything.”
As the No. 23 seed in the 24-team field, Herd That is three wins away from a million dollar winner-take-all prize.
“Those guys played in the NBA. I play at the ‘Y’. I ain’t backing up. We’re here and they’re going to have to prove it to me,” said Herd That guard Ot Elmore.