Big X Advances To Second Round Of The Basketball Tournament With 79-74 Win Over D2

By July 4, 2020 (6:04 pm)Basketball

Former Ohio State point guard C.J. Jackson was held in check for most of the game but came through when it mattered most in Big Xโ€™s 79-74 win over D2 in the opening round of the The Basketball Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

The game, which was played at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, marked the first live basketball played in the United States since the abbreviated Big East Tournament on March 12.

Big X โ€“ which also features former Buckeye guard and current assistant Andrew Dakich โ€“ fell behind by as many as 15 points in the first half thanks to a 2 for 15 start from the field but rallied to take a 46-45 l lead at the four-minute mark of the third quarter when Jackson found former Michigan State star Nick Ward in transition for a dunk.

The teams traded buckets from there, with another strong dunk from Ward giving Big X a 70-69 lead with 3:43 left in the game. The ensuing dead ball triggered the Elam Ending, which turned off the clock at set a target score of 78.

Thatโ€™s when Jackson, who finished the game with a modest seven points, made his presence felt the most. He hit a 20-foot jumper to extend the lead, which was then followed by a three-pointer from former Wisconsin guard Trevon Hughes to give Big X a 75-71 advantage.

A pair of free throws from former Michigan State froward and Pickerington, Ohio, native Javon Bess put Big X on the cusp before Jackson missed a one-handed layup in the lane, grabbed his own rebound and floated a six-footer through the bucket for the win.

โ€œWeโ€™ve all been in games like this before,โ€ Jackson after the game. โ€œThe guys told me to be more aggressive. I was able to knock down the shot at the beginning of the Elam Ending. I just wanted to stay aggressive and not force it. It all worked out for us.โ€

Big X advances to the second round to take on Red Scare, a Dayton alumni team whose roster also features former Ohio State center Trevor Thompson. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN.

That game might also mark the TBT debut of former Buckeye forward Jae’Sean Tate, who committed to play for Big X this summer but recently tested positive for coronavirus. He was expected to miss at least one game, pending the result of another test.

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