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Survive and advance: The Show Me Squad shows up in its TBT debut

Jontay Porter, Isiaih Mosley and...Erick Neal dominate as The Show Me Squad advances in the TBT

It’s great to see Jontay Porter in a black and gold jersey again. The same can be said for Isiaih Mosley and even Tony Criswell. The trio combined for 57 points for The Show Squad’s 96 points in its debut in The Basketball Tournament. Missouri’s alumni team knocked out UNLV’s Vegas Rebellion in Wichita State’s Charles Koch Arena, keeping the dream of a $1 million dollar prize pool alive.

I often wonder what could have been if Porter stayed healthy for his sophomore season. After wrapping up a very Jontay-like NBA Summer League performance just last week, Porter was outstanding on the court with 21 points on 7-17 shooting, including five made 3-pointers. His stat line also included 15 rebounds, earning a double-double to go along with 3 blocks and a pair of steals.

He powered the ex-MU-led team to a lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way with back-to-back scores toward the end of the first quarter.

And then added the icing on the cake towards the end of the first half with this play.

Here’s another angle.

Mosley also added juice to The Show Me Squad’s offense after a scoreless first quarter with nine points on a perfect four-of-four shooting, complemented by these sweet assists.

He finished with 23 points of 9-13 shooting with five assists and four rebounds. Criswell, a name from the Frank Haith era, finished with 13 points and eight rebounds of his own.

In the third quarter it was the Mosley and Porter show as the two combined for 17 of the team's 32 points!

The Show Me Squad led by 16 heading into the fourth, which was increased to 18 with a 3-pointer by Criswell early in the period. He didn’t shoot too many of those during his time with Mizzou, eh?

But, there’s a catch with The Basketball Tournament. Instead of running out the clock, you must reach the target score of 96. The Vegas Rebellion slowly began chipping away at the lead and soon the score was 92-90. Surely Missouri’s bitter tournament history doesn’t sneak up and bite them in an alumni tournament in late July, right? Not today, thanks to a man named Erick Neal.

There are three players on The Show Me Squad that never suited up for Tigers or are from the Show-Me State, including the aforementioned Neal. Kevin Hervey (UT-Arlington), Timothy Holyfield (Stephen F. Austin and Texas Tech) are the other two, but they are one of us for the foreseeable future.

Neal led the way with 24 points while grabbing nine rebounds despite his unremarkable 5-foot-10 frame. After Vegas pulled within two, Neal and Mosley knocked down back-to-back free throws putting the magic number at two. After a defensive rebound by Criswell, Neal pulled up at the top of the key and sealed the deal. Survive and advance, guys. Survive and advance.

Advancing presents an interesting opportunity unless one particular team chokes against the winner of We Are D3. kU’s alumni team, Mass Street, features a squad of Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Thomas Robinson and TyShawn Taylor, and figures to be the favorite over We are D3. This would be a fun MU-kU matchup on Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.