Yukon survives, Battle 4 defeats Auburn at 2OT in Atlantis


Paradise Island, Bahamas – Shot After Shot, no. 19 Auburn and no. 22 Connecticut Battle 4 Atlantis went back and forth with each other, noticing the dwindling clock pressure at the end of a long game.

It may have been an early season tournament, but it felt like a March-esque thriller – until the second overtime when Tyler Polly and Adam Sonogo helped wrestle the Huskies to a 115-109 double-overtime victory in Wednesday’s first round.

“Good advice for November, right?” Said Auburn coach Bruce Pearl.

In fact, the first two-overtime game in the event’s 10-year history has had plenty: big shots, clutch reactions, hysterical sequences, and even diving on the ground for a loose rebound in the final seconds of a two-possession game.

Feeling tired? Is it chaotic? Exciting? Yukon coach Dan Hurley chooses all of the above.

“Now you have the opportunity to sit back and think about how different things could have gone differently under control, or really from the five minute mark to the second overtime,” Hurley said. “There are so many things that startle the mind and warp the mind.”

Coach Dan Hurley has congratulated UConn forward Tyler Polly after making a 3-pointer against Auburn.
AP

Polly scored a career-high 24 points and hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:58 left in the second overtime and a 3-pointer for the lead with 12.5 seconds left in regulation. He finished 6 of 9 from the 3-point range.

Sanogo had a career-high 30 points and remained on the floor despite playing crucial minutes for the Huskies (5-0) with four fouls, blowing a 15-point lead in regulation and missing a late lead in the first overtime. But the two combined for the first 14 points of Yukon’s second overtime, with Yukon finally making good.

RJ Cole, who had 24 points for UConn, said, “I thought a lot of times we won the game.” They weren’t going to be hassle-free and we knew that. So we continued to talk to each other and keep pushing, knowing that this was not easy, and we had to fight for it to win.

Yukon guard RJ Cole celebrates with teammates after scoring against Auburn in the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena.
Yukon guard RJ Cole celebrated with teammates after scoring in the game against Auburn.
USA Today Sports

KD Johnson and top freshman Jabari Smith had their own big showing for the Tigers (3-1). Johnson scored 23 of his career-high 27 points after halftime, including running the basket in the final seconds of regulation and the first extra time to extend the game.

“I was trying to do anything to get the W,” Johnson said. “I didn’t really care about anything. That’s how it was going. I was just trying to win.”

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