August 12, 2017
Slam finishes Seattle Pro-Am regular season with first-ever OT win
The Bellingham Slam received a late game-tying put-back from center Austin Bragg, then pulled away in overtime as they defeated Team Worldwide in a Seattle Pro-Am thriller, 110-103, at Royal Brougham Pavilion on Saturday.
Remarkably, it was the first time the Slam had posted an overtime victory in team history, having gone 0-for-5 in previous games which required extra time.
Thanks to hot outside shooting from forward Jordan Hamilton, the Slam built up a 14-point lead halfway into the third quarter, at 70-56. But Worldwide rallied late in the frame, closing with a 12-0 run to trim Bellingham's lead to one, at 73-72.
The fourth quarter featured some riveting back-and-forth play, with Worldwide eventually building a five-point lead, at 94-89, with three minutes left on a bucket by forward Nahziah Carter.
The Slam got within two after Hamilton sank a three, his sixth of the game, with two minutes to go, and then tied the score at 94-94 a possession later on free throws from guard Paul Hafford.
Worldwide briefly took the lead back when former Husky center Robert Upshaw scored with under a minute remaining, but Bragg made sure the game went to an extra session as he scored with just seconds left, battling down low in gritty fashion as he converted a put-back on a third try following a miss and blocked shot.
Bragg opened overtime with a statement dunk just 10 seconds in to get the Slam off on the right track, as the never trailed in the extra period. A pair of floaters from guard Preston Vermeulen, suiting up for the Slam for the first time, helped push the advantage to six.
The Slam slipped slightly midway through overtime, as a pair of sloppy possessions allowed Worldwide to get back within one, at 104-103, but guard Morris Anderson helped to ice the victory by scoring twice off of timely turnovers by Worldwide.
Hamilton led all scorers with 37 points, marking the first time this season a player other than Taylor Stafford, who did not play, earned high scorer honors. Bragg enjoyed his best game of the season with a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Vermeulen finished with 16 points in an impressive Pro-Am debut. Not to be outdone, Anderson quietly posted a triple-double consisting of 14 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
Team Worldwide was led by the 35 points and game-high 20 rebounds of Robert Upshaw.
With the victory, the Slam's 2017 regular season is complete and the team now awaits the finish of the rest of the league's schedule on Sunday. With a 5-3 record, the Slam has clinched a Pro-Am postseason berth but must wait to learn the opponent and start time for their first round playoff game, which will take place on August 19 at Royal Brougham Pavilion.