The Hilltop Dawgs won’t be enjoying their own Cinderella run this summer, as the squad of University of Maryland, Baltimore County hoops alums fell early in The Basketball Tournament on Saturday, losing 72-59 to Monarch Nation.
Andrew Feeley (UMBC ’05) knocked down a three with about eight minutes left to put the Hilltop Dawgs up 54-52, but the momentum didn’t hold. The Old Dominion University alumni held the Dawgs to just five more points as they scored 20 more points to close out the game.
While both teams hit about the same number of shots, Monarch Nation out-rebounded the Hilltop Dawgs 50 to 35 and edged them out in free throws 23 to 14. More noticeably, the Monarch Nation bench logged 27 points while the graduated Retrievers’ reserves went scoreless.
Jourdan Grant, a member of the much-celebrated 2018 UMBC squad that shocked the world, led the Hilltop Dawgs with 21 points.
Here are the highlights from Richmond, courtesy of TBT.
Monarch Nation went on to lose in round two last night, falling to three-time TBT champs (and top-seeded) Overseas Elite, 71-61.
The Hilltop Dawgs’ elimination doesn’t end Baltimore’s ties to TBT this summer, as Charm City will be hosting the semifinals and finals for the second straight year at Morgan State University on Aug. 2 and 3.
With tournament play also comes TBT’s Day of Giving, a tradition started last year with Baltimore native NBAer Carmelo Anthony’s support. For this year, that will include neighborhood cleanups, a job fair and construction of a new play space and basketball court at Lake Montebello Elementary School. Another locally beloved NBA veteran, Will Barton, will be there helping out.
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