clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Happy Valley Hoopers Bounced in First Round of TBT by Nerd Team

The Hoopers rallied all the way back from a huge early deficit, but could not seal the deal towards the end.

Nittany Lion in the Cold

Stop me if you’ve read this one before: A Penn State basketball team digs itself into a deep hole to start the game, gradually climbs all the way back out to the surface, only to end up slipping on a banana peel and tumble all the way back down the hole to their doom.

That’s precisely what happened to the Happy Valley Hoopers, a PSU hoops alumni squad formed for The Basketball Tournament (TBT) as they took on the Nerd Team, a squad that has been around for a couple of years and was formed by a pair of Amherst College grads but features former star players from various Ivy League (and non-Ivy League schools like Notre Dame). Thanks to some absolute ice-cold shooting on the Hoopers’ part, the Nerds started out with a 17-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter, but the Hoopers would claw their way back in the second quarter, thanks to some hot shooting from Sam Sessoms, and ultimately found themselves trailing by only six points at halftime.

The second half saw Sessoms pick up where he left off, nailing NBA-range threes or driving by three defenders for an acrobatic layup. All in all, Sessoms would finish the game with a game-high 28 points, and helped the Hoopers take the lead for the first time midway through the fourth quarter. With the Hoopers leading 46-44 at the four-minute mark, the game clock was turned off and the Elam Ending went into effect, with the first team to reach 54 points being declared the winner. Sessoms would nail another trey to put PSU up 49-44, but unfortunately some untimely turnovers and some big-time shots from the Nerds would ultimately allow the Nerds to finish the game on a 10-0 run to advance to the second round and send the Hoopers packing.

Although the outcome was your garden variety close-but-no-cigar PSU hoops defeat, it was still great to see so many former players, especially those who missed out on playing in the NCAA Tournament in 2020 to finally get some run in a tournament format, even if just like the rest of us who have been out of college for some time, they may not be quite as nimble and have packed on some pounds. It’s why we enjoy watching such events like TBT during the dog days of Summer.