Keifer Sykes hit a three pointer to give Boeheim's Army a 69-67 win over Team 23 in The Basketball Tournament championship game. This after a potential game winning three from Chris McCullough rimmed out on the previous possession, and a potential winning jumper from Dakari Tucker also rimmed out.
Sykes was the best player for Boeheim's Army all game long, scoring a game high 21 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Sykes was forced into more minutes than in games past as DeAndre Kane went out early with an injury.
Instead of a three guard rotation with Sykes, Tyrese Rice and Kane, Rice and Sykes went most of the way for Boeheim's Army. Eric Devendorf scored five points off the bench, McCullough added nine points and nine rebounds, and Tyler Lydon has a critical six points and four rebounds.
It was an intense, physical battle right from the start. It was a back and forth first quarter until Boeheim's Army went on a 5-1 run to close it out and take a one point lead into the second. Boeheim's Army held the lead for most of the second quarter, but Team 23 was able to keep the advantage for Boeheim's Army at just one entering halftime.
A 6-0 run by Team 23 early in the third quarter gave them the momentum, but Boeheim's Army battled back as it has all tournament long. A 6-1 run towards the end of the quarter gave Team 23 a 54-50 lead headed into the final frame.
Team 23 would extend the advantage to six in the fourth quarter, the largest by either team during the entirety of the game. Keifer Sykes would make some big shots in the fourth to help give Boeheim's Army a one point lead entering the Elam Ending period with a target score of 69.
Tyrese Rice had been the guy throughout the tournament during the Elam Ending period. He struggled in this game, making just three of his 14 shots. He gave way to a hot Keifer Sykes, who scores six of Boeheim's Army's eight Elam Ending points.
Boeheim's Army outrebounded Team 23 39-33, including a 12 to eight edge in offensive boards. That led to a 12-4 second chance points advantage, which proved critical in the final outcome.
Team 23 was led by Eric Griffin, who scored 16 points and grabbed seven boards. He and Raphiael Putney combined for six blocked shots.