Sports

B4A Championship game set!

Gonzaga University Bulldogs’ Joel Ayayi sealed their game with an and-one play on Thursday to give his team a 73-72 overtime victory over the University of Oregon Ducks, booking the final spot in the 9th Annual Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis (B4A) Tournament inside the Imperial Ballroom of the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Booking their ticket earlier in the day was the unranked University of Michigan Wolverines as they took down the nationally No. 6 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in a dominating 73-64 victory.

Bulldogs 73, Ducks 72

Fast forward to the final two minutes of the second half with the score 63-61 in favor of the Gonzaga Bulldogs with 1:37 remaining in regulation. The Bulldogs’ Corey Kispert hit a three-pointer to put his team up 66-61.

Just 14 seconds later, the Ducks’ Payton Pritchard connected on a three-pointer of his own to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 66-64. Pritchard finished with 17 points.

With seven seconds left, the Bulldogs’ Killian Tillie fouled Chris Duarte, sending him to the free-throw line. Duarte stepped up and connected on both free throws to tie up the game at 66.

With one second left, Tillie missed what would have been the game-winning three-point shot. The game went into overtime and the No. 11 ranked Ducks had a fighting chance against the No. 8 Bulldogs.

In the overtime period, the Ducks’ Shakur Juiston made a layup with 3:39 remaining to put his team up 70-66. Bulldogs starting forward Filip Petrusev hit two free throws and a layup to tie the game at 70. Petrusev finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

The game was tied at 72 with 1:18 remaining.

The Bulldogs’ Drew Timme stepped up to the free-throw line and hit one of two free shots to give his team a 73-72 victory and a chance to lift the Battle 4 Atlantis trophy today.

The Bulldogs blew a 17-point lead early in the first half. They led 24-7 with 12:38 remaining in the half but the Ducks battled all the way back, pulling to within six, 43-37, at the half, and then came all the way back in the second half.

The Ducks will play the Tar Heels for third place.

Wolverines 73, Tar Heels 64

The University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels were up by nine points in the first half when Cole Anthony made a pair of free throws with 14:39 remaining in the half.

However, the Michigan Wolverines battled back and surged ahead with a vengeance.

Wolverines big man Colin Castleton made a layup to give his team their first lead of the game since they were up 2-0 early in the half.

There was a little back and forth between the two teams. Eli Brooks, who finished with 24 points for the Wolverines, hit a three-pointer with 7:42 remaining to put his team ahead 24-22.

The first half ended with the Wolverines up 39-34.

The Wolverines pounced on the Tar Heels in the second half as they opened with a 21-2 scoring run to seize control of the game. They were up 60-36.

“I think that goes off shot selection, just sharing the ball,” Brooks said. “We take good shots. People aren’t afraid to share the ball because they know the next person is going to do his job.”

The Tar Heels tried to fight their way back, cutting the deficit to just eight points on a Garrison Brooks layup with 2:46 remaining in the second half. They trailed 69-61 at that point.

Moments later, Brooks buried a three-point that dashed the Tar Heels’ hopes of a comeback. That shot put the Wolverines up by 11 points, 72-61, with 1:12 remaining.

When the clock hit zero seconds, the Wolverines were victorious, taking a 73-64 win to catapult them into the championship game set for today at 2 p.m.

The Tar Heels play the Ducks for third place.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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