The heavily favored Ram Nation who was loaded with former NBA talent with Eric Maynor, Reggie Williams and Larry Sanders struggled early in the first half. However, a 44-38 lead at the half was good enough for the VCU Alumni who had 26 points in the paint at the half, which was done mostly on the hands of Jamie Skeen (9 points) and Larry Sanders (8 points).
Though, the 14th seeded Prodigal wasn’t going to go down without a fight as they shot 50 percent from behind the arc in the first half. Led by Sam Hinnant, who shot 75 percent from behind the arc as he went 3 for 4.
The Rams picked up the pace in the second half as they jumped out to a quick 7-2 run early to extend their lead to 11. But it didn’t stop there as the dominance continued as another 15-5 run gave the Rams their biggest lead of the game extending it to 19 which eventually grew to a 21 point lead.
The Prodigal’s impressive three point shooting in the first half didn’t carry over to the second half as they would go 4 for 14 from the field. Which was the big difference maker as they couldn’t respond to the Rams scoring who dominated the paint again with 16 points in the paint in the second half.
The Rams had impressive scoring across the board but were lead by Reggie Williams with 14 points and Jamie Skeen with 13 points.
“I love these guys,” said Sanders. “Its great to be around them and not a lot has changed since the college days. We’re just having fun.”
As expected it was a one-sided first-half as the back-to-back champions, Overseas Elite, looked elite in the first half. Led by Kyle Fogg’s 15 first-half points and 66.7 percent shooting as a group, the Elite jumped out to an early double-digit lead and never looked back as they led 46-32 at halftime.
A 6-0 run and a slow start out of the gate in the second half for Overseas Elite gave the Bulls a true shot at the champs as they were able to cut the lead to six. Eventually cutting the deficit to two, the Elite needed to get going to avoid the upset.
And that’s exactly what they did. An 11-3 run to re-give themselves another double-digit lead is exactly what Elite needed to move on to the Elite 8. Controlling the tempo and building on their lead, the Elite would extend their lead to 16 and cruise to an 84-76 victory.
“This is the first team where we have someone that we can throw the ball into the post and score,” said Errick McCollum. “We’ve always had athletic big men, now we have physical bigs. I think this is the best team we’ve had yet.