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Best Virginia Advances to the Sweet 16 in the TBT

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – (July 19, 2021) — On a late tip-off Monday night, Best Virginia defeated No. 7 D2, 63-51, in the second round of the TBT to advance to the Sweet 16.

Best Virginia overtakes their win total from TBT in 2019 (1).

“Tonight, you’ve got to enjoy the small victories or there’s no point in doing anything like this,” Best Virginia head coach James Long said. “So, we said when this first started, we’re going to enjoy being around each other. I hope that these guys can do that tonight.”

In the beginning stages of the second round matchup, Kevin Jones gave the alumni team a boost, scoring seven of the first 12 points.

Fairmont State graduate Jamel Morris scored eight-straight points to give Best Virginia a double-digit lead heading into the second quarter. Morris finished the game with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field.

The large lead didn’t last for long as D2 quickly got right back into the game with multiple shots made by Todd Withers. The Division II representatives ended the first half on a 12-5 run to cut their deficit down to four.

Best Virginia headed into the locker room leading 30-26.

Out of the break, D2 continued their run, eventually taking the lead midway through the third. A lack of rebounding and free-throw completions kept D2 in the game.

To counter the swing of momentum in the game, Morgantown’s own Nathan Adrian scored eight points in the third to give Best Virginia a three-point lead heading into the final quarter. Adrian—a recent Italian league signee—scored 11 points in the second round matchup.

To start the fourth, back-to-back three-pointers by John Flowers and Tarik Phillip extended the Best Virginia lead to nine.

In The Basketball Tournament, the rules to ending a game are a little different than the typical game of basketball. With four minutes left in every game, the clock turns off. A target score is set in place, whoever is leading, their score is added by eight and that is the target score for both teams.

The target score was 61 points with Best Virginia leading 53-44.

Unlike the first round matchup, the former basketball players for WVU were able to hit their target score with zero stress. Adrian finished off D2 with a three to give Best Virginia the win.

Jones finished the game with a team-high of 13 points. The former All-American pulled down six rebounds as well.

Tarik Phillip finished the game with 11 points.

Best Virginia will have a day off on Tuesday and head into a Sweet 16 matchup against No. 6 seed Team 23. Team 23 defeated Marshall’s alumni team, Herd That, on Monday night. The winner will head to Dayton to compete in the Elite 8 in the championship of the TBT.

(Top Photo: Ben Soloman)

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