July 30, 2017
Controversial finish mars narrow Pro-Am loss for Slam
The Bellingham Slam endured their second Seattle Pro-Am loss of the weekend, 117-116 to Team Adidas on Sunday at Royal Brougham Pavilion, in a game which came down to a controversial decision by the officials after time expired.
Trailing by one after current Washington Husky guard Matisse Thybulle sank a free throw for Team Adidas with 8seconds left, Slam guard Taylor Stafford drove towards the hoop and appeared to be fouled just as time ran out. After an initial indication from the nearest official that there would be potential game-winning free-throws for Bellingham with no time left, the officiating crew conferred and reversed their decision, stating that the foul occurred after the buzzer and preserving the win for Team Adidas.
The Slam found themselves with a chance to win after executing a fourth-quarter comeback in which they rallied from down 12 at the start of the period. Bellingham clawed back thanks to multiple three-pointers and and-one plays, with the biggest moves coming thanks to active defense and back-to-back steals from Stafford late in the quarter.
Once Bellingham eliminated the deficit, the fans were treated to some riveting back-and-forth play with both sides sinking big shots. Guard Morris Anderson scored six points in the final 90 seconds, including a clutch three-pointer which tied the game before Thybulle scored the go ahead point for Team Adidas.
In all, the game featured a total of 35 lead changes or ties throughout the contest.
Stafford led the Slam in scoring for the sixth time in seven games with a season-high 44 points. Guard Paul Hafford has 21 points thanks in part to four three-pointers, while forward Tyler Amaya narrowly missed out on his second consecutive double-double with 15 points, 17 rebounds and 8 assists.
Team Adidas was led by the Husky combo of Thybulle and forward Noah Dickerson, who combined for 70 points. Thybulle finished with 34 while Dickerson's total came by way of a monster double-double of 36 points and 16 rebounds. Jamal Crawford did not play due to injury.
The Slam gets another two-week break before seeing their next action at the Seattle Pro-Am. They will face Worldwide S.M. on August 12 with a 12 p.m. scheduled tip-off.