COLUMBUS, Ohio — Herd That’s dream of winning $1 million ran into a problem in a guy who has already made several millions as a seven-time NBA All-Star.
Overseas Elite’s Joe Johnson scored an event record 35 points to lead his team to a 93-76 win over Herd That at The Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
“When you’re that big and that good, there’s not many people that’s ever walked this Earth that’s had an answer for you,” Herd That guard and general manager Ot Elmore said. “I bet a lot of coaches are glad he’s not in the NBA right now because I tell you what, he can still get a bucket.”
Led by Johnson, Overseas Elite used a 17-0 run that spanned the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth quarter to turn a 58-55 game into a 20-point contest just two minutes into the final frame.
“I’m just coming out and trying to set the tone early — defensively, offensively — and just trying to take what the defense gives me,” Johnson said.
As had happened on Thursday prior to a late rally, Herd That cut the lead to one possession on several occasions in the third before forced opportunities stymied the team’s chances to get over the hump.
That frustration grew as Overseas Elite made its run.
“I think we got a little stagnant, but that’s part of the game,” guard Jon Elmore said. “It’s a game of runs. We dug ourselves a hole and this time, it was a little too big to get out of.”
Herd That struggled to get its transition game — a key component in the previous two wins — into gear against the four-time champions of the TBT.
One issue Herd That had on Saturday was the inability to get forward JaCorey Williams going.
Williams, a former Conference USA Player of the Year, averaged 26 points per game in the first two wins, but he was limited to six points while having five turnovers.
Jon Elmore led Herd That with 22 points, but Overseas Elite limited him to just two in the second half. Chris Cokley added 17 points while Ryan Luther added 11 in the loss.
Overseas Elite never trailed, jumping out to a 13-2 lead. However, Herd That kept plugging away behind the play of Elmore.
Elmore and Johnson went toe-to-toe in the first half with Elmore scoring 20 points to lead Herd That back into the game.
However, Johnson hit a 3-pointer late in the half to give Overseas Elite a 47-41 lead at the break.
Overseas Elite moved to 30-1 all-time in TBT action.
In addition to Johnson, Overseas Elite got 19 points from Frank Session.
While the loss ended Herd That’s run, Jon Elmore said the 2020 TBT is something he’ll never forget.
“Just the overall experience, it rivals our NCAA Tournament when we made it and won a game,” Jon Elmore said. “That’s how special the TBT is. It doesn’t get much higher level than this.”
Ot Elmore said the success seen and the memories made just fuel the team for a return next year.
“We had a great run this year and we look forward to getting the band back together next year to try and improve a little bit and see if we can’t go a little deeper than the final eight,” Ot Elmore said.