Caruso, Bryant Combine for 72 Points in South Bay Comeback

By Joey Ramirez | December 9, 2017

Thomas Bryant pump faked the first defender and rose out of the second one’s reach.

The shot went splash. The crowd went crazy. Bryant went crazier.

After sinking the overtime-forcing triple, he high-fived the row of fans sitting courtside before letting out a roar at the end of the court.

The first half never felt so far away. Bryant had just three points at halftime, but heated up to reach 31 on the night, helping the 10-2 South Bay Lakers to a 139-135 overtime victory over Sioux Falls.

Bryant was a monster in the second half, shooting 11-of-12 from the field via some pick-and-rolls, post-ups and hammer dunks. But his biggest contribution was his 5-of-6 clip from 3-point range in the back half — particularly his clutch triple that sent the game to overtime.

With 2.8 seconds left in regulation, head coach Coby Karl put all of his trust into Bryant and point guard Alex Caruso.

Inbounding the ball near the South Bay bench, Caruso waited while Scott Machado set a baseline screen for Bryant, who relocated to the far corner. Caruso then fired a perfect, 50-foot pass to Bryant, who pump-faked and sunk the game-tying trey.

He said it was his first game-tying or -winning bucket outside of pickup hoops.

Caruso then provided the key play of overtime with a spinning bank shot for the first score of the extra period.

The two-way Laker led the way with six overtime points to cap a monster night of 41 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.

Caruso — who said he hadn’t scored 40 points since high school — reached his total in with an efficient mix of attacking the rim and shooting from the perimeter, finishing with a 13-of-17 clip from the field and 12-of 14 on free throws.

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