Dominique Jones banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Tampa Bulls to an 88-87 win over the Kentucky Kings in the second round of The Basketball Tournament.
Jones’ desperation shot from the left wing capped an unlikely comeback by the USF alumni team, who trailed by six points with 30 seconds to go. JaVontae Hawkins was fouled while shooting a three and made all three free throws to cut the Kings’ lead in half. After Erving Walker made a pair from the line, Corey Allen Jr. hit a three to cut Kentucky Kings’ lead to 87-85 with 13.8 seconds left.
With the Bulls electing not to foul right away, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick made a great play under the basket to knock the ball away from Scotty Hopson as he went in for a layup. Walker then fumbled away the ensuing inbounds pass, giving Tampa Bulls one more chance with 5.3 seconds to go.
Jones inbounded to Allen, who was double-teamed. Allen got the ball back to Jones, who had only enough time to take a step to his right and launch a three that kicked in off the glass as the clock ran out.
Jones led the Bulls with 29 points, despite struggling through 10-for-25 shooting. Allen added 16 in his first appearance of the tournament. 37-year-old Will McDonald turned back the clock with 14 points and six rebounds in just 14 minutes.
Behind McDonald’s strong inside play, the Bulls took their biggest lead of the game at 58-51 early in the second half. When he left the game due to foul trouble, the Kings were able to get their feet back under them, setting up a back-and-forth contest down the stretch. Jeremy Evans led a balanced Kings attack with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Walker added 17 points, and Hopson chipped in with 16.
With the win, the Tampa Bulls advance to the Super 16 of the $2 million, winner-take-all tournament. Their next game will be the weekend of July 20-22 in Brooklyn against either Overseas Elite, the two-time defending champions, or Texas Matadors, a Texas Tech alumni squad.
Full highlights and a quick interview with Jones: