NEW YORK, NY - The second annual Big Strick Classic at City College started out as just another all-star game but quickly turned into a rivalry as top New York City players were pitted against some of the top players in the nation.
Team NYC, who led for the majority of Saturday's game, would squander their advantage down the stretch giving Team USA a slim 87-86 win.
"They played harder than us," said Chris McCullough (13 points). "They out-rebounded us and outscored us."
Team NYC started quickly as Kuran Iverson (21 points, 5 rebounds) and Isaiah Whitehead (10 points) scored early. Troy Williams (10 points) and Khadeem Lattin (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Robert Hubbs (14 points) countered for Team USA who finished strong wit an 8 point advantage to end the quarter
At the top of the second quarter, Team NYC finally got some continuity going on an 8-2 pull to within two points.
Dayshon Smith (6 points) began to set up his teammates Jermaine Lawrence (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Iverson and midway through the quarter a strong move the paint by Jordan Washington (10 points) gave 43-36 lead.
With all the hoopla surrounding the Harrison Twins, they started off slowly but as the half came to a close the duo begin to live up to expectations. After baskets by Lahin closed the gap, a basket late in the half by Andrew Harrison (15 points) would tie the game at 48.
Team NYC would manage to hold onto a 2 point lead to begin the third quarter but an offensive tirade by Iverson would extend their lead to a game high 13 points.
For a moment, Team NYC lapsed into typical all-star game mode and proceeded to attempt alley-oops, and trick plays feeling comfortably ahead.
"The alley-oops were attempted but they didn't go down," said McCullough.
While the New York team celebrated their lead, Team USA proceeded to reduce their deficit back to 2 points as the third quarter ended.
In the fourth quarter, Smith and Andrew Harrison went for a brief mano y mano as the crowd began to urge their home team on. For the majority of the quarter, Team USA was in an uphill battle but Aaron Harrison (13 points) and his brother became more aggressive offensively.
With 7:01 left to play, Andrew Harrison would finally knot the game at 75 from the foul line. Jalen Lindsey (10 points) would put Team USA ahead by 4 points with 3:38 on the clock.
Whitehead would stop an' pop cutting Team USA's team in half. McCullough had a chance to tie the game from the charity stripe but went 1 for 2.
Both team battled intensely and frequently hit the floor. There was a scare as Lawrence tweaked his ankle and had to be helped off the court. Team USA ended up with possession and a 1 point lead but with 34 seconds left, Shavar Newkirk (3 points) would get a steal but NYC was unable to convert.
Forced to foul Team USA was able to run the clock out and get the upset.
"It just came down to pride," said Andrew Harrison. "We didn't come all the way down here to lose so we just sucked it up and said 'let's go.'"
Lattin & Hubbs were co-MVP's for Team USA while Iverson and McCullough earned co-MVP's for Team NYC.
Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis, Malik Price-Martin, Anthony Barber, Isaiah Lewis, Noah Vonleh and Emmanuel Mudiay were no-shows. C.J. Davis played on Team NYC.
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