Big X Eliminated by Red Scare, 77-68, in TBT Second Round

Adam Prescott

(Photos by Ben Solomon)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A game that saw 13 lead changes and 11 ties did not end in favor of Big Ten alumni squad Big X Wednesday afternoon in The Basketball Tournament (TBT) at Nationwide Arena.

Red Scare, making its debut after receiving a first-round bye, eliminated Big X by a final score of 77-68 in the winner-take-all summer event. The team consisting of mostly Dayton basketball alumni advances to the Friday’s quarterfinals.

Big X (led by former Ohio State point guard Andrew Dakich) unfortunately suffers elimination in the second round for a fourth year in a row. They are now 4-4 all-time in the event.

Both teams led by five during the first quarter, as Red Scare went on a 10-0 run to flip the script after Big X endured a scoreless stretch over three full minutes.

The Dayton alums led by as many as eight (21-13) in second quarter before a pair of spurts from Big X ignited them to a halftime advantage. An initial 8-0 run allowed them to draw even before culminating the period on another 7-0 push.

“We just started encouraging each other,” Nick Ward told ESPN’s Jen Hale entering the break. “Every shot is not going to fall, but we understand that and we are professionals. It’s about moving on to the next shot.”

Big X subsequently held a 38-33 lead at the intermission behind 15 points from Wisconsin alum Trevon Hughes, who found a nice groove throughout that second frame.

A three-point barrage ensued in the third quarter, which saw four lead changes and another four deadlocks. Big X regained a 57-55 edge following a trifecta from L.D. Williams (Wake Forest) in the closing minute.

The see-saw battle never stretched outside of one possession until under five minutes remaining, as Red Scare pieced together a 7-0 run for a 67-62 lead. The gap could have been even wider but the Dayton alums missed three critical free throws just before the Elam Ending.

Nevertheless, Red Scare opened the Elam Ending format with another seven-straight points, all part of a 14-0 run, to put Big X on the brink. Vito Brown nailed back-to-back triples to keep the Big Ten contingency alive (74-68) before a responding three-pointer on the opposite end from Ryan Mikesell ended the day.

Mikesell and fellow sharpshooter Ryan McMahon (Louisville) both made four shots each from downtown in the game. Red Scare had four reach double figures and posted a 28-15 edge in bench scoring.

Hughes led all players with 20 points. Ohio State alum C.J. Jackson tallied just seven points on 2-of-8 shooting.

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