The Basketball Tournament: Wasatch Front falls in 1st round; Team Utah beats Team Fredette

Saturday , July 15, 2017 - 10:18 PM

BRETT HEIN, Standard-Examiner Staff

After taking a second-half lead, The Wasatch Front’s hot 3-point shooting finally cooled off and the Weber State alumni squad fell to Team Challenge ALS 97-81 in the first round of The Basketball Tournament on Saturday in Las Vegas.

After a tight first half, Kellen McCoy made three 3-pointers in consecutive possessions to give Wasatch Front a 56-52 lead with 13:45 left in the game.

Davion Berry knocked down a pair of 3-pointers on either end of McCoy’s barrage and Wasatch Front led 61-60 with 11 minutes left.

From there, the Weber State team went cold. Team Challenge ALS locked down on Scott Bamforth, who scored 20 points in the first half, and Wasatch Front went three minutes without scoring.

Eight points in the paint from Ivan Aska keyed a 22-7 run for Team Challenge ALS, which began to run away with the game.

Wasatch Front was outscored 45-6 in bench points, all six coming from Steve Panos.

Bamforth finished with 27 points and started the game 4 of 4 from the 3-point line. Wasatch Front shot 7 of 15 from 3 in the first half as Bamforth served as catalyst. When he wasn’t hitting 3s or scoop shots in the paint, he was dishing to teammates for open looks.

Berry added 16 points in the loss, while McCoy finished with 14.

Bamforth, Berry and McCoy combined to shoot a red-hot 14 of 25 from deep. The rest of Wasatch Front combined to go 0 of 7.

Damian Lillard, who was slated to coach Wasatch Front, was not on the sideline. WatchESPN announcers said he was elsewhere celebrating his birthday, which fell on the same day.

Former Boston College guard Sean Marshall, who was teammates with Steve Frates, the man behind the viral ice bucket challenge to fight ALS, led Team Challenge ALS with 28 points.

TBT is a 64-team tournament comprised teams with players who are overseas professionals, former NBA and college players, or NBA players not currently under contract. In its fourth year, the prize stash for the winning team is $2 million.

The first two rounds stream live on WatchESPN.com and its corresponding app, then every round after will air on ESPN.

TEAM UTAH 100, TEAM FREDETTE 97

Earlier in Las Vegas, seven-seed Team Utah and 10-seed Team Fredette matched up for a game befitting a BYU-Utah rivalry classic.

With the game tied and less than 5 seconds left, Tim Drisdom nailed a contested 3-pointer to give Utah the lead.

Jordan Crawford, who scored 19 for Team Fredette, missed a 3 as time expired and the Utah alumni team advanced to the second round.

Former Utes Shaun Green (22 points) and Dakarai Tucker (20) led Team Utah early, then Drisdom’s brother, Terrence, took over late to lead Utah in scoring with 27 points.

Brandon Davies led Team Fredette with 20 points and seven rebounds, joined by former teammate Charles Abouo (15 points) as the lone BYU alums on the team coached by Jimmer Fredette.

Team Utah led by 13 early in the second half, but 3-pointers from Abuou and Crawford — who played with Jimmer Fredette on the NBA D-League’s Westchester Knicks — cut Team Utah’s lead to one with 6:30 left.

Team Utah advances to play Few Good Men, a Gonzaga alumni team it beat in last year’s tournament, at 3:30 p.m. MDT Sunday.

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