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CBA Standings
 1. Indianapolis B. 6-2 
 2. Bowling Green H. 5-3 
 3. Ft.Wayne F. 5-3 
 4. Mississippi E. 4-4 
 5. Illinois Coal Miners 4-4 
 6. Baltimore Sh. 3-5 
 7. MidTenn S. 1-7 
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Slide continues - Jan 23, 2009

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Every run the Minot Skyrockets made, the Albany Patroons had an answer.

The Patroons took a double-digit third quarter lead and held off a feverish Minot comeback in the fourth quarter Wednesday to top the Skyrockets 114-108.

The road win was the third in four nights for Albany over Minot. The same two teams meet tonight at 7:05 p.m. at the Minot Municipal Auditorium.

'Any time you can win on the road in this league, it's huge,' Patroons head coach Derrick Rowland said. 'Nothing comes easy. You're never out of it at this level. The fourth quarter is when it starts to happen.'

Minot found itself trailing 79-68 entering the final quarter, but got back in the game with the help of diminutive guard Royce Parran.

The 5-foot-9 Parran exploded for 26 of his team-high 31 points in the fourth quarter. After scoring just 44 points in the second and third quarters combined, the Skyrockets hit for 40 in the final quarter.

'In the third quarter we just came out flat,' Minot head coach Michael Sanders said. 'That third quarter reminded me of the first quarter two nights ago, we got in an 11-point hole and had to fight to try to come back.'

Minot knotted the game with 3:29 remaining on a pair of Parran free throws but never gained a second-half lead.

Parran did damage both inside and outside, mixing in slashing drives to the hoop with long 3-pointers from the top of the key.

'When he's aggressive like that is when he's at his best,' Sanders said. 'That's the kind of aggressiveness he has to show the rest of the season.'

Parran's foil on the Patroons was J.J. Sullinger. Sullinger scored all 20 of his points in the second half. Sullinger hit eight of his nine attempts from the field, including three 3-pointers that crippled Minot's comeback attempt down the stretch.

'They hit some big baskets down the stretch,' Sanders said. 'We just have to accept the challenge and get up and challenge their shots.'

Rowland said it was the late shooting of Sullinger and Harvey Thomas (6'9''-F-82, college: Baylor) that pushed the Patroons over the top.

Thomas led all scorers with 32 points and hit four of his six attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

'We got a little cushion in that third quarter,' he said. 'We know they're a good team late in the fourth quarter, they made a run Monday. We hit some big shots down the stretch. Sullinger was on fire and Thomas hit some big ones.'

In the first half, it was only the offensive punch of CBA vet Ronnie Fields that kept the Skyrockets close. Fields finished with 24 of Minot's 47 first-half points.

'Ronnie came out and set the tone and provided some good leadership (in the first half),' Sanders said.

Fields finished with 30 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Teammate Aaron Spears contributed a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Albany's Rod Nealy also posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Courtesy of   

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