Blue Collar U Wins Again, Three of $1 Million | local sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Blue Collar U is halfway to earning a white collar paycheck.

CJ Massinburg had 13 points to lead a balanced scoring offense, Jeremy Harris closed the game with six of his 12 points on ending possessions, and Nick Perkins earned the honors helmet by posting 11 points and seven rebounds as a team. Buffalo basketball alumni. advanced to the quarterfinals of the basketball tournament with a 78-61 victory over the Miami Hurricanes alumni team shorthanded Category 5 on Tuesday night.

With Nate Oats, the patriarch of UB’s blue-collar culture, cheering from the baseline, the Bulls took a big lead and finished in style in their most dominant of three wins in four nights in the Columbus area. at the Covelli Center at Ohio State.

Blue Collar U, the No. 6 seed, is one of eight teams still in contention for the $1 million TBT champion prize and will resume their tournament against fifth seed The Money Team (Ohio State ) at 9 p.m. Saturday in Dayton, Ohio. The Money team is not affiliated with a single school, but rather made up of players from all over, including Niagara Tremmell Darden alumni.

“We’re on a high right now,” Massinburg said. “We are above the clouds right now. Just being with these guys, it still hasn’t really sunk in. I’m just enjoying every moment, being where my feet are and playing basketball with my family again. “

The Bulls endured the second-half injury absence of senior guard Wes Clark, the leading scorer and game-winning shooter in the first two rounds. Clark suffered a hamstring injury late in the second quarter and needed crutches to get back on the bench and watch the rest of the game. Clark will have an MRI today to determine the severity of the injury, but he told an ESPN reporter during the game that he thought he avoided a serious tear and hopes to play this weekend.

“That’s the good thing about this team,” Harris said. “We have so many great players, it’s just for the next one. But we need Wes. He will be fine. You just have to work your hamstrings.

Lamonte Bearden took over on point with Clark sidelined and dished out five unturned assists while scoring six points and leading the defensive effort with a pair of interceptions.

“He’s a fun guy to be around,” Massinburg said. “One thing about Lamonte, he’s a very selfless guy. In the last two games, he told the coach who to put on, other than himself.

Blue Collar U had a measure of revenge for UB’s loss to Miami in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. They led from start to finish, mostly by double digits, got an 11-man field goal shooting 51 % from the field, their highest rating so far in the tournament, and held Category 5 at 40% shooting, another best TBT. effort for the Bulls.

“We knew we had to get them back,” Perkins said. “They offered us our freshman year when me and CJ were young bulls. I thought about it. We owed them one. We also owed one to Xavier. It’s pretty good to get a return on investment that’s been sitting on our chest for years.

The Bulls enjoyed a 41-2 scoring advantage from the bench, getting seven from Montell McRae, six from Antwain Johnson and five each from Davonta Jordan and Edric Dennis Jr. Starters Blake Hamilton and Dontay Caruthers each had five points. Clark, who was averaging 21 in the first two games, scored three points before being injured.

Blue Collar U led 69-60 when he called time out to kick off the Elam Ending, setting the target score at 77 for TBT’s signing closing streak. Massinburg made three free throws and Harris splashed a pair of triples including the winner from the right corner.

“It was okay, I knew it as soon as he left,” Harris said. “I should have turned around as soon as he left, but I had CJ on my team, so I’m trying to be humble.”

After a scorching first half performance, Blue Collar U went cold in the third quarter, missing all 10 shots from beyond the arc and allowing Grade 5 to cut the lead to 66-58 early in the fourth after the Bulls led up to 20 before halftime.

Blue Collar U shot 60% from the field and even better from long range (8 for 12) taking a 47-29 lead at intermission. Ten different players scored a field goal and seven hit 3-pointers in the team’s best first-half performance of the tournament.

Perkins posted two quick field goals as Blue Collar U took a 7-0 lead and the Bulls marched on a 13-0 run to take a 27-9 lead late in the first quarter.

Perkins fought his way to the coveted helmet honor for the second game in a row, a feat he has never accomplished at UB. Oats presented it to him in the locker room after the game.

“We’re proud of that,” Harris said. “I’m proud of Perk.”

“He’s doing things,” Massinburg added, “that I haven’t seen in Buffalo.”

Category 5 dressed eight players and was without their leading scorer in the first two games, Rion Brown, and another starter, Durand Scott, who was a plus-16 in the Hurricanes’ second-round victory over a team from North Carolina St. alumni. Both were held back due to pandemic protocols.

Blue Collar U is reduced to an 11-man roster after the departure of Justin Moss. The 2015 MAC Player of the Year started the TBT opener but only played two minutes in the second round. Moss was designated as inactive and was not selected due to coronavirus concerns.

Elizabeth J. Harless