By: Josh Goldfine | @jgoldfine
The fifth time was the charm for the Golden Eagles.
Travis Diener hit a three-pointer to reach the Target Score and send the Marquette University alumni squad to its first TBT title – and $1 million prize – with a 78-73 victory over upset-minded Sideline Cancer.
Diener, the 38-year-old guard who was on the golf course when he found out that his Golden Eagle teammates had signed him up to play in this summer’s tournament, reflected on how close his team had come to winning TBT’s ultimate prize.
“We’ve come so close to capturing the title,” said Diener, whose game-winner was his only made field goal of the night. “We were fortunate to make enough big plays to win.”
The Golden Eagles had advanced to the TBT semi-finals in 2018 before falling in the title game to Carmen’s Crew last summer.
“It’s great for all of us,” said Golden Eagles coach Joe Chapman. “Guys were really getting after it because we knew what was at stake this year. To get over the hump this year—it feels great.”
Jamil Wilson’s 16 points paced the offensive attack for the Golden Eagles. Wilson noted the camaraderie that his team built over its time together this summer.
“These last few weeks have bonded us in ways that we can’t explain,” said Wilson. “Accomplishing this as a group makes this very special.”
Darius Johnson-Odom had 15 points in the winning effort and was selected as TBT’s Most Valuable Player.
“Championships don’t come easy,” said Johnson-Odom. “This will bond us forever.”
Elgin Cook and Dwight Buycks had 15 points apiece in the win for the Golden Eagles, who emerged victorious in a back-and-forth affair that featured 19 lead changes.
Mo Creek had 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting in the losing effort for Sideline Cancer, which fell in its first championship game appearance in its seven-year run in TBT.
Date / Time: Jul 14, 2020, 7:00 PM
Venue: Nationwide Arena
Coach: Joe Chapman Assistant: Joe Napier
Coach: Charlie Parker Assistant: Jordan Griffith