Former Pitt star Jamel Artis led Sideline Cancer to a 58-57 victory over the Bucketneers, an East Tennessee State alumni team, in The Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at the Charleston Coliseum in West Virginia. Artis led all scorers with 19 points, and his solid performance allowed Sideline Cancer to advance to the TBT quarterfinals.
During the game, Artis saw 30 minutes of action and went 9-for-12 from the field, leading the team in both made field goals and field-goal percentage. The Pitt alum was also 1-for-3 from the foul line and 0-for-2 from beyond the arc. So Artis’ production, which was concentrated in the first three quarters of the game, came entirely on inside jump shots, layups and a free throw. Artis also had two rebounds and one assist in the contest.
The 6’7”, 213-pound small forward’s big game came at an opportune time, as he was one of just two Sideline Cancer players who scored in double figures on Wednesday night. The other was Marcus Keene, who scored 13 points and made the game-winning three-point shot. But while Artis and Keene led the team in scoring, Maurice Creek, who has often figured prominently into Sideline Cancer’s game plan, had a quiet night, scoring just seven points and going 2-for-6 from the field.
As for Artis, he has shown improvement in each of Sideline Cancer’s three games, upping his point total from seven points to 12 points to 19 points. He has also improved his field-goal percentage in each of the three games, starting out at 40.0 percent, then improving to 55.6 percent and then going 75.0 percent from the field in Wednesday night’s victory.
Prior to the tournament, Artis spent the bulk of the 2020-21 season with Chorale Roanne Basket in the top-tier pro league of France. Over a span of 26 games, he averaged 11.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 38.2 percent from beyond the arc.
With the win over the Bucketneers, Sideline Cancer advanced out of the regional phase, and as a result, the team will move onto TBT Championship Week. In the quarterfinals, Sideline Cancer will face Team 23 in Dayton, Ohio, on July 31. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. ET, and it will air on ESPN 2.