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Boeheim’s Army downed by Brotherly Love in TBT regional final, 84-72

first_imgFrantz Massenat kept finding openings in the Boeheim’s Army defense. Then, Novar Gadson did too. Cutters kept sweeping through the 2-3 zone and quality defensive possessions were spoiled by second-chance opportunities for Brotherly Love. But late in the first quarter, BA finally had it trapped. The shot clock ticked under 10. Fans rose and BA booster Mark Lamansky pumped his arms from the bench at the anticipated shot-clock violation. The ball swung from the sidelines to the opposite wing, and Massenat received the ball in front of Eric Devendorf as the clock ticked under five.“I just wanted the ball in my hands,” Massenat said afterwards, “I kinda knew a move.”He rose and sunk a 3-pointer over Devendorf’s extended arm. Another near-stop had turned into a basket, and the lead extended to four.After gathering wins in two consecutive days to reach the regional final, BA’s run came to an end. Missing open shots caught up to them as Brotherly Love’s offensive rebounds pierced scoring runs. Inconsistent ball movement halted fluidity. By establishing an eight-point advantage in the third quarter that withstood Boeheim’s Army attempted comebacks, Brotherly Love clinched its spot in The Basketball Tournament’s final eight with a 84-72 win.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They had us moving our feet on defense and were able to attack and find the openings in zone,” Boeheim’s Army general manager Kevin Belbey said. “When we’d try to go man, they were able to make things happen there too.”For the past 48 hours, Boeheim’s Army and TBT had encapsulated the attention of Syracuse, providing an opportunity for basketball during the summer months. Crowds rose when BA jogged onto the court, roared as its starting lineup was introduced and chanted “Let’s go Orange” throughout. It resembled a Carrier Dome basketball game, reviving marquee SU basketball moments: Hakim Warrick’s block to clinch the only national title in program history, Arinze Onuaku’s backboard-breaking dunk, and John Gillon’s buzzer-beater to stun Duke.Together, this group of 11 aimed for a final eight return for the fourth time in the team’s five years of existence but hadn’t played to its highest potential during the first two rounds. Friday’s win was only “good enough,” head coach Ryan Blackwell said. Saturday’s was “a little bit better.” Sunday, against an undersized but potent Brotherly Love roster, BA needed to piece everything together.Boeheim’s Army had a distinct size advantage, but it didn’t show. Brotherly Love forwards Makal Stibbins and Michael Ringgold, both 6-foot-8 — matched up three inches shorter than Darryl Watkins and one inch below Warrick and Onuaku. At times during the regional, Boeheim’s Army succeeded in the post: Watkins chipped in a 5-for-6 game off the bench Saturday and Warrick muscled his way through contact multiple times and tallied 13 points on Friday. But other times, it wasn’t exposed.From the interior attack came opportunities on the outside. Gael Nation primarily played zone defense, providing Gillon, Andrew White, and BJ Johnson open space to hit 3-pointers. All it took was an extra pass — from a forward cutting through the center, from a guard penetrating from the corner, from an offensive rebound and kick-out.But while those parts meshed together to start Sunday’s game, the defense faltered. Onuaku picked up two early over-the-back fouls and was sent to the bench. Brotherly Love outrebounded BA 9-1. The SU-alumni abandoned its zone defense in favor of man-to-man before the first quarter ended.“Whenever you’re in the zone and they’re getting those second chance points, it’s tough on the zone,” Devendorf said. “Because we played so hard for that one possession, for them to get those second-chance points is hard.”Boeheim’s Army stayed alive by capitalizing off Brotherly Love’s turnovers. Early in the first, White swept the ball to Onuaku on the opposite block for a layup following a Devendorf steal. Then, Devendorf himself finished on layups through contact. With the transition offense and occasional 3-pointers, the score was tied at the half.But after halftime, a tie quickly changed into a 13-point Brotherly Love lead by the start of the Elam Ending. Boeheim’s Army kept arguing for calls that never came, and transition baskets resulted at the other end.Massenat told the rest of Brotherly Love to remain poised during scoring runs, Maurice Watson Jr. recalled.An 8-2 run to close the third was highlighted by Samme Givens’ second-chance and-1, breaking the game open enough to withstand an Elam Ending comeback attempt — five points by Crawford, a Devendorf layup and a Warrick put-back — by BA.“It got to a point where they went small to try and match up with us, and it never was the same,” Brotherly Love head coach Tony Paris said.During the fourth quarter’s first possession, Gillon drove toward the right block but lost control. Shannon Givens hit his arm, Gillon pleaded with his left hand extended in front of him. There was no call, and he was subbed out the next possession.As Gillon sipped water on the bench, he kept his left hand open and raised his eyebrows. BA’s Darryl Watkins had just lost possession, and fans yelled for a foul. Seconds later, Ramone Moore received the ball in front of the Brotherly Love bench. He set his hands and released.Gillon’s head sunk down as the lead extended to 13. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on July 28, 2019 at 4:18 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrewlast_img

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