A 31-point lead sends the AfterShocks to round 2 of TBT

Starting guard Conner Frankamp said his goal was to set the pace quickly by scoring early. The AfterShocks did just that.

The AfterShocks, a team made up of WSU alumni, got their early start with seven points on three consecutive plays. The tone was set for the AfterShocks as they secured their place in round two of The Basketball Tournament Wichita Regional with an 83-52 victory against We Are D3.

“They say the first game is the hardest one just because of pressure,” Markis McDuffie said. “I said ‘let’s make this the easiest one and then move on.’”

Last season, the AfterShocks suffered their first blowout against Florida TNT in the quarterfinals of TBT. 

This season, they returned fighting with 53 percent shot from the field, while four players reached double-digit scores: Samajae Haynes-Jones (13), McDuffie (12), Darral Willis Jr (11) and Frankamp (10). 

“Something we love about our team is we’ve got so many guys that can just score and do so many different things,” head coach Zach Bush said. “That can be tough too at times. It’s like you’re putting together a college All-Star team of guys from your school. It may be hard for some guys to give up and sacrifice a little bit, but I think they do a great job of sharing the wealth.”

When building a TBT team, there’s only a week to prepare. Many players travel from overseas to be able to play with their former teammates. 

“These guys have high IQs, so they’re able to make plays (on their own),” Bush said. “It really helps when you don’t have to coach everything because you can’t – you don’t have time to prepare. A lot of it is them being smart and playing good basketball.”

Forward Rashard Kelly is quick to go with his instincts, according to Bush, and tends to perform one-man press breaks often. Kelly finished the night with nine points while shooting 80% from the field. He and Frankamp led the team with three steals each.

The AfterShocks pace helped them compile 38-points heading into halftime. 

Going into the second half, the AfterShocks played as hard as before to build on their lead. We Are D3 grabbed the first couple of points but were ultimately unable to catch up with the AfterShocks lead.

The AfterShocks finished the night shooting 73% on two-pointers, 28% on three-pointers and 56% on free throws. 

Moving onto round two, the AfterShocks will take on the No. 4 seeded Air Raiders, a team made up of Texas Tech alums. 

The Air Raiders have numerous players returning from the Texas Tech team that reach the National Championship in 2019: Matt Mooney, Tariq Owens, Parker Hicks and Andrew Sorrells. They finished Friday night’s matchup against the No. 5 seed B1 Ballers, Texas Southern, with a 90-89 victory.

The AfterShocks will take on the Air Raiders tomorrow evening following the matchup between Purple & Black, Kansas State, and Bleed Green, North Texas Alumni, at 7 p.m. 

The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3 and tickets are available at goshockers.com/tickets. Updated brackets and statistics are available at tbt.com.