AfterShocks move on to Dayton, TBT Final 4
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The AfterShocks had another battle on their hands against a fellow group of veteran former college basketball players looking to spoil the party at Koch Arena. In the quarterfinal round of The Basketbal Tournament Wednesday night, the AfterShocks, primarily consisting of former Wichita State University hoops stars, trailed the Omaha Regional champion Gutter Cat Gang by as many as nine in the first half. It appeared not only possible, but perhaps even probable an end to the TBT in the round of eight could be coming for the second consecutive year. The AfterShocks at times struggled with turnovers, but turned up their own defense and hit enough shots to stay in it and keep history from repeating. Ultimately, they came out on top, 74-67, moving a big step closer to a big money prize.
After trailing by seven at the end of the first quarter, the AfterShocks outscored the Gutter Cat Gang 19-15 in the second quarter to be within a possession at halftime, down 34-31. The game stayed tight throughout the second half with the Shockers finally breaking through with a 40-38 lead inside seven minutes left in the third quarter. A fight to the finish was on with the score tied at 57 at the end of the third quarter. The score was tied at 65 with a little less than four minutes left in the game when the target score, Elam ending was set at 73.
A pair of layups from Darral Wills Jr. and Markis McDuffie put the AfterShocks up 69-65. The Gutter Cat Gang responded with a dunk to trim that deficit to two when a final surge pushed the AfterShocks over the top. A Willis three-point jumper put the AfterShocks within one point of the Elam ending. A Rashard Kelly steal followed on the next possession. He pushed the ball ahead to James Woodard, one of a few players on the AfterShocks roster who didn’t play at Wichita State. The 2016 University of Tulsa grad made the game-winning layup, drawing a roar from the crowd that typically roots against his alma mater.
McDuffie and Willis led the AfterShocks with 17 and 15 points respectively. Kelly chipped in 11, followed by Conner Frankamp with 10, Woodard with nine. James Dickey with six, Clevin Hannah with four and Samaje Haynes-Jones with two to round out the AfterShocks scoring effort.
With the win, the AfterShocks are within two wins of the $1 million prize awarded to the TBT champions. They’ll next be in action at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 30, in the semifinal round in Dayton. If the AfterShocks survive, they’ll play in the TBT championship at 7 p.m. Tuesday, also in Dayton.
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