Best Virginia’s quest for TBT glory is well alive, after the former West Virginia Mountaineers Final Four and Press Virginia stars knocked off the No. 5 seeded Seven City Royalty, comprised of former Old Dominion Monarch standouts.
Best Virginia won the opening tip and Kevin Jones quickly laid it in to give the squad their first ever TBT points. Da’Sean Butler followed up with a layup of his own to put Best Virginia up 4-0 early, but the Royalty began making shots of their own to make it competitive. Despite forcing multiple turnovers, Best Virginia struggled to capitalize early and controlled just a 20-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Things started to heat up for the Mountaineer squad midway through the second quarter, when a hot-handed Jaysean Paige drained back-to-back three pointers coming out of the under 4:00 timeout. John Flowers followed that up with a three of his own, and Best Virginia took a 39-27 lead to the half.
While they appeared to be all but out of the contest to start the second half, the Royalty mounted a big comeback as Best Virginia struggled to get shots to fall, narrowing the lead to 4 points to end the third quarter.
After an early issue with the scoreboard, Best Virginia began to rebuild their lead in the fourth when Flowers picked up the bucket and the foul to extend the lead back to 60-53 with 8:00 left in the quarter.
The Elam Ending kicked in with four minutes remaining in the fourth, with the Mountaineer alums up 70-59, and Truck Bryant quickly committed an intentional foul to lock in the target score at 78.
Juwan Staten took an ugly spill to the floor after a made layup, and looked to have possibly injured his wrist. He had exited the game with Best Virginia just four points away from the target score. Truck Bryant made a free throw and Kevin Jones threw down a dunk to put the score at 77-61. Bryant finished off the game with an alley-oop to Paige to give Best Virginia the win, 79-63.
Jaysean Paige and Kevin Jones led all scorers with 17 points each. John Flowers finished with 16 points off the bench, while Devin Williams finished with a double-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds. Da’Sean Butler and Juwan Staten each finished with 8 points.
Best Virginia will take on the winner of today’s second game, currently taking place, between the 25-0 all-time Overseas Elite and the Hilltop Dawgs (UMBC alumni). That game will tip off at 5:00PM EST on Saturday, and will once again be broadcast on ESPN3.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Mountaineer win without Country Roads to follow it up.