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Golden Eagles Alumni dodge upset, earn spot in TBT Super 16

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Entering play, Golden Eagles Alumni guard Dwight Buycks did not embrace being the top seed.

“I actually hate that we have the number one seed,” he said at the team’s mini-camp. “We’re not going to get relaxed because we have the number one seed. We actually want to act like we have the number eight seed.”

For a moment Sunday, it appeared as though the eighth seed would be the ones to take down the top-seeded Alumni, as the Majerus SLU Crew got out to a 20-12 lead early in the first half. Marquette was shooting 3-for-15 from the field after shooting 62 percent the night before. 

Things turned around quickly though, as the Alumni finished the first half on a 26-13 run that proved to be the difference in an 81-70 win in the TBT Round of 32.

The WatchESPN broadcast of the game was riddled with technical difficulties, which precluded fans from seeing most of the first half. The Golden Eagles Alumni did most of its damage during the blackout, surging back from an eight-point deficit to take a 38-33 halftime lead.

The Majerus SLU Crew came back to take a 58-57 lead in the second half, but poor shooting from the charity stripe cut the team’s rally short. SLU hit only 50 percent of its free throw attempts in the game’s latter half. SLU also struggled to handle Marquette’s depth, as the Golden Eagles finished with a 31-12 advantage in bench points.

Marquette’s bolstered lineup down low continued to pay dividends Sunday. Davante Gardner, Jamil Wilson and Juan Anderson combined to score 38 points. As a team, the Alumni had a 36-26 scoring advantage in the paint.

Golden Eagles guard Darius Johnson-Odom led the team with 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 shooting from the free throw line. The 6-foot-2 guard is averaging a team-high 17.5 points per game so far in the tournament. 

With the win, the Golden Eagles Alumni is making travel plans to Brooklyn, where the Blue and Gold will take on the Purple and Black, the Kansas State alumni team, Saturday in the Super 16.

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