Toronto 89, National Taiwan Sport University 87… 6’0″ Evan Shadkami knocked down a pair of clutch threes in the final minute and a half, allowing the Blues to rally from down 4 with just over a minute to play – also surviving a missed wide-open three at the buzzer – for a character win in front of 4,000+ partisan fans in Taiwan.
The game went back and forth all night with the Blues trailing by 5 entering the fourth and down 4 with 1:30 left when Shadkami (21 points, 4-11 threes) gave the Blues the lead. 6’3″ Nic Paradina added 16 points for Toronto while burly 6’6″ Nick Morris had 14 points and 9 rebounds.
6’4″ third-year wing Dillon Rejman (Chicago, IL), who in his first two seasons generally saw limited floor time, has stepped up the entire tournament with strong minutes, having arguably the most productive game of his Varsity career vs. Taiwan with an 11-point/10-rebound double-double.
Toronto dominated on the glass, grabbing 24 offensive rebounds and enjoying a 50-30 rebounding edge overall. 6’8″ Daniel Johansson had 7 points and 9 rebounds while touted 6’3″ freshman Inaki Alvarez added 5 points in 13 minutes.
The game was tidy with teams combining for just 21 turnovers and the Blues coming back late to claim first place in their preliminary round group.
The tournament continues tomorrow at 3:15 AM Eastern time with the semi-finals.