Team Arkansas cruises to opening-round TBT win

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018
Alandise Harris
Alandise Harris

— Dusty Hannahs swished six 3-pointers and poured in a game-high 26 points to lead Team Arkansas over Tim Thomas Playaz 85-62 Saturday at the Steinberg Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the fifth annual The Basketball Tournament.

Michael Qualls added 21 points and Alandise Harris scored 18 as the group of former Razorbacks won their Northeast Regional opening-round game in the 72-team event featuring non-NBA players.

Team Arkansas, with former Razorback and current Chicago Bulls player Bobby Portis looking on, was 32-of-67 from the field and 12-of-30 from 3-point range after being on fire early for head coach Pat Bradley, another former Razorback.

“Early on we shot the ball great,” Bradley said of his team jumping out to 19-10 first quarter lead. “I think we were 5-of-7 from the 3. I think basically we won the first quarter and the fourth quarter and that was why we were able to win.

“We basically came out and hit them in the mouth, got our points early today and rode that throughout the entire game.”

Seventh-seeded Team Arkansas advances to play Sunday at noon against 15th-seeded Talladega Knights, who downed second-seeded HBC Sicklerville 80-60 on Saturday afternoon.

Former Drexel player Frantz Massenet, a 6-4 guard, had 22 points while knocking down six 3-pointers to lead Talladega while former Rider small forward Novar Gadson added 18.

That game will be televised on the Watch ESPN App available on smart TVs, computers and phones.

The former Razorbacks had just seven players on the roster as Marshawn Powell, Rotnei Clarke and Jacorey Williams were not available for this weekend, but outscored its foe 20-3 in the fourth quarter.

“We had seven guys and a couple of those guys may have been tugging on their shorts come the third quarter,” Bradley said. “But I think overall we shot the ball well, we defended and rebounded when we needed to and, to me, that was the difference.”

Tim Thomas Playaz outscored Team Arkansas 27-24 in the third quarter to cut their deficit to 65-59, but the former Razorbacks raced away in the fourth quarter.

The winners benefited from the tournament’s Elam Rule, which sets a target score to win after the first dead ball under four minutes by adding seven points to the leader’s total.

“In the fourth quarter when we needed to go on a run, our guys stepped up defensively, rebounded and hung on until we got to that four-minute mark and could close it out,” Bradley said. “The rule worked out perfectly for us.”

Ronnie Brewer added 8 points, Jabril Durham 6 points and a team-high 7 assists, Moses Kingsley 4 points and Rashad Madden 2 points a team-high 8 rebounds.

Brewer, Kingsley, Harris, Durham and Qualls all added six rebounds each.

Mike Betha led Tim Thomas Playaz with 13 points while Chane Behanan added 12 and former NBA player Da’quan Cook chipping in 8 for a squad made up of players from nine different colleges.

Bradley noted that his team will have to play better to win on Sunday.

“The seven we got was fine for today, but I think looking at tomorrow both of those teams are going to be a little bit taller, we are going to have to play better,” Bradley said. “I don’t know if it was fatigue or just not trusting each other, but there were times when we forced shots, didn’t share the ball and if we do that tomorrow it is going to be difficult because we are a little short-handed.

“We are going to have to be much more efficient.”

Bradley has no thoughts of becoming a player-coach for the event.

“I was dehydrated sitting on the bench,” Bradley said. “I can’t imagine playing.”

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