PEORIA, Ill. — Former Syracuse University star Chris McCullough scored 19 points to lift third-seeded Boeheim’s Army to a 69-54 victory over No. 7-seeded Always a Brave in The Basketball Tournament (TBT) Illinois Regional semifinals on Wednesday night at the Peoria Civic Center.
Boeheim’s Army — the team of mostly SU men’s basketball alumni — advanced to the TBT quarterfinals to face the top-seeded Golden Eagles consisting of Marquette alumni players at 2 p.m. Saturday at the UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio, to be televised on ESPN.
The semifinals and final for the $1 million, winner-take-all, single elimination open pro tourney are respectively scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday in Dayton.
McCullough finished 7-for-11 from the field, shared the team high with seven rebounds, and blocked a pair of shots. The 6-foot-11 center scored six of the final eight points and closed the Elam’s Ending by sinking a pair of free throws to secure the victory.
Keifer Sykes — a former Wisconsin-Green Bay guard and one of four non-SU newcomers to the squad — delivered 10 points and a team-high three steals to highlight 34 bench points for Boeheim’s Army.
C.J. Fair and Eric Devendorf added seven points apiece while Andrew White III scored six, and the trio of former Orange stars shot a combined 5-for-8 on 3-pointers.
Boeheim’s Army led by as much as 17 in the first half to beat Always a Brave, negating the crowd advantage for the hometown Bradley alumni squad. Most of the current Bradley men’s team was present among the large Braves fan contingent.
Boeheim’s Army held a 10-point edge at halftime, 38-28, after connecting on 56 percent from the field in the first half.
They held the double-digit advantage at the end of the third quarter, 53-43, and entering the Elam’s Ending, 61-51.
Boeheim’s Army is aiming for its first TBT title in its seventh attempt.