The dream is over for Team uKnighted, as they suffered a 74-71 loss on Saturday night to the Silver Spring Willow Runners in the opening round game of the Jamboree. The Willow Runners move on to today’s contest against the Champions, led by longtime NBA player Earl Boykins, with the winner advancing to The Basketball Tournament in July. As for Team uKnighted, they will have to wait for next year to put together another run.
Give credit to Team uKnighted for never giving up and almost pulling off an epic upset. Shooting woes plagued them in the first half, when as a team they made just 8 of 31 shots for only 25.8%. The Willow Runners took advantage behind 54.8% shooting performance in the opening frame, put together a 16-0 run, led by as many as 24 points and went into halftime leading 40-21. However, Team uKnighted continued to fight and were spurred by 8 consecutive points by former Rutgers player CJ Gettys.
Still, the Willow Runners led 67-54 when the winning point total of 74 was announced. The Basketball Tournament is experimenting with “the Elam Ending”, which eliminates fouling down the stretch of games. Team uKnighted put together a tremendous last effort, scoring 14 straight points to actually lead 68-67. Unfortunately, the Willow Runners regained the lead at 72-71 and former Rutgers player Jerome Seagers scored the winning basket with a layup off a turnover on the other end. Talk about a heartbreaking way to lose.
Team uKnighted was led by former Stony Brook star Dallis Joyner, who scored 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. CJ Gettys had a strong performance as well, with 13 points and 9 rebounds. The only other player to score in double figures was former Stony Brook player Mo El-Amin, who also scored 13 points and had 5 rebounds. Former Rutgers star Myles Mack had a bad shooting night, making just 1 of 10 shots from the field and finished with 6 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Dane Miller was the only other former Rutgers player who saw action and he registered 5 points, 3 steals, and 2 rebounds.
Best of luck to the entire roster of Team uKnighted, with many players now heading off to the various teams they play for professionally overseas. Hopefully, there will be an effort to put together another Rutgers/Stony Brook alumni team next year as well. Best of luck as well to former Rutgers basketball managers and the organizers of Team uKnighted, Alex Neumann and Matt Johnston.
To see the full box score, click here.
Thank you to everyone for all the incredible support we received throughout this exciting process! We will be back and better next summer!— Team uKnighted (@TeamuKnighted) June 18, 2017