Boeheim’s Army had another come-from-behind victory in The Basketball Tournament as the group of Syracuse Orange men’s basketball alumni overcame multiple double-digit deficits to advance to the Championship game. Tyrese Rice scored the final 13 points for the Army and the team completed the comeback against Florida TNT, winning 66-64.
Boeheim’s Army got off to a slow start from the field as the outside shooting left much to be desired. Boeheim’s Army missed its first nine shots from range.
As such, Florida TNT jumped out to a 19-8 lead in the first quarter, but CJ Fair helped turn momentum after finding Keifer Sykes for team’s first three. Then Fair followed that up with a tip-in to make it 19-13 going into the second quarter.
Florida TNT was able to make adjustment by feeding Keith Clanton inside. Boeheim’s Army tried to shift to 2-3 zone to mitigate Clanton, but the hot shooting from Brandon Robinson helped Florida TNT back to an 11-point lead at 30-19.
The Syracuse guys would respond once more to that double-digit deficit, this time with 10 unanswered points. Tyrese Rice made a free throw. Chris McCullough scored inside and then followed that up with a mid-range shot. Rice then connected on a triple and McCullough scored inside once more.
The 10-0 run by Boeheim’s Army had the team within one point at the halftime intermission.
Boeheim’s Army came out sluggish in the third and once again Florida TNT extended its lead. Despite a lackluster offensive third quarter, the Army went into the fourth trailing only by five at 47-42.
McCullough found rhythm scoring the first eight points for his team in the fourth. A three point play and mid-range jumper got Boeheim’s Army back to within striking distance. A McCullough triple gave his team its first lead of the day 50-49.
On the other end of the floor, TNT kept feeding Clanton in the paint. Boeheim’s Army elected not to double team and he scored inside on McCullough. With the quarter coming to a close, Boynton was fouled with 3:58 with score 56-53. He made both and the target score was set at 66 with the Elam Ending in effect.
From there Rice took over. He first hit a three. Then he got into the lane and finished with another lefty floater. He came down on the next play and connected on another triple, all unanswered points.
Still, TNT fought back and down the stretch they went back to what worked: feeding Clanton inside. He made two free throws to make the score 64-62. Then Rice scored on a floater to tie it at 64. After each team missed a shot with a chance to win, Rice forced a steal in the open court. He raced down the floor, bobbled the ball yet managed to lay it in to give Boeheim’s Army a 66-64 nail-biting win.
The team now advances to the title game for the first time in TBT. That game tips at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday and will air on ESPN.
Rice led the way with 24 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. McCullough put up 18 and hauled in 7 boards. Fair had 6 points and 8 rebounds and finished with highest +/- of +10.
Boeheim’s Army shot 27-68 (39%) from the floor and 6/29 (20%) from deep. TNT shot 23-60 from the floor (38%) and 9-25 from three (36%). The rebounding battle was knotted at 41. Boeheim’s Army only turned the ball over six times to TNT’s 11.