Boeheim’s Army advanced to the Elite Eight of The Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night, taking down Always A Brave 69-54. The Army will move on to Dayton where it will play last year’s TBT champion in the Golden Eagles for a shot at the Final Four.
Head coach Jeremy Pope went with a starting lineup of Tyrese Rice, DeAndre Kane, DJ Kennedy, Malachi Richardson and Chris McCullough for a second straight game. Once again, the Army played man-to-man for the entirety of the game in favor of zone.
McCullough provided the initial spark on offense by scoring 10 of his team’s first 12 points. The first quarter was physical and low scoring as a result and Boeheim’s Army took a 17-12 lead after the first nine minutes.
The offense picked up for BA in the second quarter. CJ Fair provided sound minutes and the Army went on a 17-2 scoring run in part thanks to his passing and rebounding. Lydon got the run started with a score inside. Andrew White connected on back-to-back 3s. Devendorf hit from outside. Fair made a mid-range shot and Lydon capped the run with an and-one despite missing the free throw.
The Army led by as many as 17 in the first half. Always A Brave cut into the lead, but the group of Syracuse players managed to take a 10 point lead into the break.
Boeheim’s Army cushioned its lead out of the intermission led by the troika of Kane, Kennedy and Rice. The Army once again built its lead back up to 17, but Max Bieldfeld got going on offense for Always A Brave and BA had its lead cut back down to 10 at the end of the third.
Both squads jockeyed back and forth in the final quarter with Boeheim’s Army holding firm to its 10-point lead. At the under four minute mark, the Army called timeout leading 61-51 to put the Elam Ending into effect and target score was set at 69.
Once again it was McCullough who emerged in the Elam Ending, scoring the first two buckets for his team in the final push. Kane scored on a transition layup to make it 67-54. McCullough then blocked a shot on the defensive end, was fouled on the other and made both free throws to lift Boeheim’s Army to a win.
Boeheim’s Army advances to play the Golden Eagles this Saturday in Dayton. That game will tip at 2 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.