Despite the support of the Covelli Center crowd the Buckeye alums coughed up an 18-point, third-quarter victory as they fell to the Floyd Mayweather sponsored squad The Money Team 91-89.
After the Ohio State alums struggled a little bit in their first two games when it came to scoring, Carmen’s Crew was lights out against TMT on Tuesday night. The action was fast and furious on both sides of the court, as CC and TMT were on fire in the early going. Through the first 3:30, the teams combined to go 8-of-11, as the good guys trailer 9-8.
Unlike in the first two games of Carmen’s Crew tournament, the “home” team came out shooting hot, not just from the paint — as has been their M.O. — but also from distance. The OSU alums connected on all of their first five attempts from beyond the arc; Shannon Scott, William Buford, the living legend Jeff Gibbs, the three-point goat Jon Diebler, and Keyshawn Woods all hit from deep in the first quarter, pushing Carmen’s Crew to a 10-point lead, 31-21, at the end of the first period.
Jon 3ieeeeeeebler sends the crowd into a frenzy pic.twitter.com/u5mlPV1qYZ— Car❌en’s Crew (@CarmensCrew) July 28, 2021
While the hot shooting slowed down a bit in the second quarter, Carmen’s Crew continued to meticulously execute on both sides of the court. It was incredibly obvious that the familiarity amongst the tea team — OSU alum or not — played a huge part in the team’s offensive success. You hear about it all the time from high-level teams; when players know where their teammates will be on the floor, it makes the offensive flow so much crisper and effective, and that’s what happened in the first half of the game for Carmen’s Crew.
SHANNON’S OUT HERE THROWING DIMES pic.twitter.com/upQi6MEMKK— Car❌en’s Crew (@CarmensCrew) July 28, 2021
At the break, the Ohio State alums led by a score of 50-38, thanks to a last-second David Lighty three-pointer. They shot 19-for-29 (65.5%) in the first half, including 6-for-11 (54.5%) from deep. And, what has been an issue for them in the first two games of the tournament, they were 6-for-7 (85.7%) from the stripe before halftime.
Conversely, TMT was shooting an also admirable 17-for-36 (47.2%) from the floor, and 4-of-16 (25%) from downtown, but had not yet attempted a free throw.
Buford led all scorers midway through with 12, but he was just one of 10 Carmen’s Crewers to score in the first two quarters. Aaron Craft — who only played two minutes before halftime — was the only guy who got on the floor for CC who didn’t get into the scoring column.
Former Ball State Cardinal Jarrod Jones led the way for The Money Team with nine, and all eight of their guys who saw the floor scored as well.
WHAT A WAY TO END THE HALF pic.twitter.com/LBd36UgdZF— Car❌en’s Crew (@CarmensCrew) July 28, 2021
To open the third quarter, Kosta Koufos hit a jumper in the lane, but The Money Team hit a pair of back-to-back three-pointers from Jeff Ledbetter and Jordan Crawford to cut the Carmen’s Crew lead to 52-44.
But from there, the home team’s offense started to click. Buford hit a triple of his own while Koufos, Gibbs, and Lighty all added buckets as well. Crawford added a second three of the half and at 5:25 in the quarter, Carmen’s Crew was up 61-47.
Kosta Koufos is turning out to be one of the best free agent singings in TBT HISTORY! He has 14 points already for @CarmensCrew on ESPN pic.twitter.com/lPiSkk61cm— TBT (@thetournament) July 28, 2021
As the third quarter wound down, nearly everybody who took a shot for Carmen’s Crew connected. On back-to-back possessions Evan Ravenel and Woods both hit three-pointers pushing the lead to 71-54 for the former Bucks.
As good as the shooting was for CC, it was really the passing that made the difference. Through three quarters, the team had 14 assists on 27 field goals, and so many of them were passes that looked like they had to have eyes of their own in order to be able to navigate their way through the traffic.
Through three quarters, Buford led all scorers with 15, followed by Koufos and TMT’s Crawford with 14. Heading into the final period, Carmen’s Crew led by by 12, 76-64.
This is a VINTAGE William Buford game— TBT (@thetournament) July 28, 2021
He's got 15 for @CarmensCrew after three on ESPN pic.twitter.com/U60IvfQLFl
Coming into the final period, TMT started to chip away with at the deficit. Xavier Munford hit a free throw and connected on back-to-back three-pointers to cut Carmen’s Crew’s lead to 78-71 a minute and a half into the fourth. The Money Team continued to slowly, but surely cut into CC’s lead thanks in no small part to connecting on 3-of-4 attempts from behind the arc.
With 03:59, head coach Jared Sullinger called time out to activate the Elam Ending. With Carmen’s Crew leading just 83-79, that meant that the target score was 91, so the OSU alums only needed to score 8, while The Money Team would have to put up 12 to win.
One thing that might have slowed down the home team’s offense was the fact that their leading scorer went to the bench in the third quarter, and was absent for the duration.
William Buford took a weird fall earlier in the game. He's on the bench with an athletic band stretching his left foot and hasn't played since the 5:59 mark of the third quarter. That was more than nine minutes ago.— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) July 28, 2021
Munford scored the first bucket after the timeout to get the game to a single possession, 83-80, then Koufos turned it over and TMT’s Peyton Aldridge tied it up with a triple. Back on offense, Koufos made up for his turnover with a bucket from the lane. Then, Scott got his hand in between a TMT pass, which led to Lighty getting fouled on the other end; he hit both free throws to put CC up 87-83.
After a TMT offensive rebound, Jones hit YET ANOTHER FREAKING THREE-POINTER to put the score at 87-86, then on offense, Gibbs turned it over and then fouled Munford, meaning that TMT got a single free-throw (which Munford made), and they got the ball. Another foul allowed TMT to take a one-point, 88-87 lead. The visitors were now one three-pointer away from victory.
With the ball on the other end, Koufos got another bucket in the paint, but Scott picked up a blocking foul on defense, leading to a Munford free-throw, putting TMT within one bucket of a victory, and Munford hit the basket to pull off the come back.
Carmen’s Crew will next take to the floor on Saturday, July 31 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN against the other team that came out of the Columbus region, the Buffalo alums of Blue Collar U.
Also, don’t forget that Jeff Gibbs is the :
Jeff Gibbs is a 6'2 center & also a point god in his spare time pic.twitter.com/DzI7yPkdmZ— TBT (@thetournament) July 28, 2021