By: TBT Staff | @thetournament

Travis Diener hit a three-pointer to reach the Target Score, and the Golden Eagles defeated Team Hines, 68-62, in a game that featured 18 ties and 21 lead changes.

“They lost me a little bit,” said the 37-year-old former Marquette star. “I knew I could get a shot off. Fortunately for us, it went in.” Elgin Cook poured in a game-high 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting in the win for the Golden Eagles, who avenged a semi-final loss last year to eventual champion Overseas Elite and advance to the TBT Finals for the first time in their four-year history. Golden Eagles coach Joe Chapman gave much of the credit for the hard-fought win to those in the stands. “Our alumni is really strong in Chicago,” said Chapman. “The crowd got really loud. That’s a big advantage for us, being close to home.” Maurice Acker had 12 points, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, in the win for the Marquette University alumni squad, which made 50% (6-for-12) of its three-pointers in the second half after hitting just four of 19 from beyond the arc before intermission. Chapman and his Golden Eagles are already looking ahead to Tuesday night’s title game against Carmen’s Crew, Ohio State University alumni squad. “It’s going to be a tough, physical game,” said Chapman. “It’s going to feel like a college game. It’s going to be a good battle. I’m looking forward to it.” Diener echoed Chapman’s feelings. “It’s going to be a war,” said the three-point specialist. “Once the ball goes up, you’re not thinking about the [potential prize winnings of] $2 million. You’re trying to compete as best as you can.”

Kyle Hines had 12 points, and Matt Lojeski added 11 points, for Team Hines, which fell despite limiting Golden Eagles guard Dwight Buycks, the team’s leading scorer, to just 10 points.