Bakersfield J. - Reno B. 102-86 Bakersfield Jam registered the 17th win in the season. They knocked down visiting Reno Bighorns to remain on top of the West Conference at 17-7 record. Renaldo Major (6'7''-F-82, agency: Edge Sports, college: Fresno St.) came up with 20 points to pace the Jam. Bakersfield made a run in the second quarter to clear off. They registered a 51:43 halftime lead. The Jam maintained the advantage throughout the third quarter. They unloaded 27 points to enjoy a 9-point buffer heading into the fourth frame. The Jam limited their opponents to 17 points in the final period and cruised to the victory at the end. Jerel McNeal (6'3''-G-87, college: Marquette) scored 17 points, while Brian Butch added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the winners. Reno Bighorns were paced by 20 points and 9 rebounds from Samardo Samuels (6'9''-F/C-89, college: Louisville). Dar Tucker contributed 18 points and 7 rebounds in the losing effort.
Austin T. - Idaho S. 104-94 The Austin Toros (13-10) defeated the Idaho Stampede 104 - 94 Friday evening at Cedar Park Center. Tre Kelley (6'0''-PG-85, college: S.Carolina)elley led the Toros from the bench with 21 points, two rebounds and two assists. Spurs assignee Cory Joseph (6'3''-PG-91, college: Texas) contributed 19 points, six assists and five rebounds. Chris Roberts in his debut appearance for the Toros added eight points and four rebounds. Rick Jackson and JaMychal Green both finished with double-doubles at 12 points, 11 rebounds and 12 points, 10 rebounds respectively. Justin Holiday (6'6''-F-89, college: Washington) led the Stampede (6-17) with 20 points and four rebounds. Carlon Brown scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds. Durrell Summers added 13 points and three rebounds off the bench. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Texas L. - Sioux Falls S. 95-101 'Basketball is a game of runs.' It is the most uttered phrase by Sioux Falls Skyforce head coach Joel Ableson. His first season at the helm has proven that to be true in numerous ways. The final score of the Friday tussle with the Texas Legends was 101-95 with the visitors from Sioux Falls claiming victory. Two streaks are still intact as the Skyforce (14-10) have won four straight and the Legends (11-13) are on an eight-game skid. However, within the stark number of the final score was the ebb and flow of a large lead gained and lost by the Skyforce. Twelve straight points at the end of the first quarter enhanced a lead that had already reached double digits for Sioux Falls. At the 1:18 mark of the second quarter the spread was 29 points. Then as Texas did six days earlier, there was The Comeback. After all, these two teams have played heart-stopping, down-to-the-wire basketball in three of four matchups this season. Texas struggled to score 36 in the first half then exploded for 35 tallies in the THIRD QUARTER to close the gap to 9. The scales tipped to the Legends midway through the 4th quarter when a Sean Singletary 3 pointer made the score 88-86. Donald Sloan (6'3''-G-88, college: Texas A&M) then delivered the blows necessary to vanquish the weary home team in the form of a three-point play and a driving layup on the way to 29 points. Mike Davis also contributed mightily to the effort by scoring 12 and grabbing 25 rebounds. It's the most boards collected by a Skyforce player since the CBA days as Eric Taylor did the same against the Gary Steelheads in 2002. Nick Davis and Anthony Avent also have 25 rebounds in a single game for Sioux Falls, but 32 is the most in one contest and that was also Nick Davis back in 1999. Also to be recognized not only for his efforts, but also his return to the lineup was Troy Hudson who has been sidelined with a foot injury since late December and put up 13 points in a winning effort. Texas modified their lineup in an attempt to snap their slide and the new players were stout. Luther Head (6'3''-G-82, college: Illinois) (21 points), Justin Dentmon (6'0''-G-85, college: Washington) (20 points) and Rashad McCants (16 points) were all newly acquired this week. Now that the season series is complete, the Skyforce can be fortunate not to have the Legends on the schedule. Eventually Texas will put it together. For now, Sioux Falls will travel to Rio Grande Valley Saturday night to face the Vipers who won six straight games. The Legends will have a home date on Saturday with the Iowa Energy. Courtesy of: espn991.com
Iowa E. - Canton C. 83-103 The Canton Charge won their third-straight game with a 103-83 victory over the Iowa Energy in Des Moines at the Wells Fargo Arena on Friday night. The win improved Canton to 16-10 on the year, while Iowa dropped to 6-17. Canton pulled ahead 23-17 in the first quarter thanks in large part to 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range. The Charge also crashed the boards and limited second chances with 17 first quarter rebounds. The visitors opened their advantage up to as many as 11 midway through the second period. Iowa then went on a 10-2 run over a span of 3:01 to make it 40-37. The Charge defense locked down in the final 3:34 of the half, limiting the Energy to 1-of-7 shooting and two turnovers in an 8-2 run to set Canton's lead at 48-39 at the intermission. The Charge began to pull away in the third, adding to their lead with an efficient offensive attack of 48% shooting from the floor while limiting the Energy to just 26% and led 71-57. Canton's advantage would never fall below double-digits, as they led by as many as 21 in the fourth en route to their second-largest margin of victory this season. The Charge have now won 10 of their last 13 games. Five Canton players scored in double figures, led by Micheal Eric (6'11''-F/C-88, college: Temple)'s 19-point, 16-rebound and one block effort in 33 minutes for his eighth double-double of the season. In his first game since being assigned to the Charge, Josh Selby poured in 16 points with four rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes. Kyle Gibson (6'5''-G-87, college: Louisiana Tech) added 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting with six assists in 32 minutes. Canton outrebounded Iowa 54-46 in the game. Othyus Jeffers (6'5''-F-85, agency: Priority Sports, college: Robert Morris) paced the Energy frontcourt with 16 points and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes. Chris Wright had a team-high 19 points with four assists and a steal in 36 minutes. Quincy Miller had 13 points, four rebounds, two steals and four blocks in 32 minutes. Paul Harris contributed 11 points, six rebounds and one steal in 27 minutes of relief off the bench. Canton now leads the season series between the two teams 3-1 with the final meeting of the year tomorrow night. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Tulsa 66ers - Los Angeles D. 107-84 The Los Angeles D-Fenders were toppled by the Tulsa 66ers in the first meeting between the teams this season, falling 107-84 at SpiritBank Event Center on Friday night. Los Angeles (7-15) saw five players score in double-figures, led by Courtney Fortson (5'11''-PG-88, college: Arkansas) (21 points, 7 assists, 6 steals [tied for D-Fenders season-high]) and Zachary Andrews (6'8''-F/C-85, college: Bradley) (14 points, 5 rebounds). Additionally, Elijah Millsap totaled 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals, Orien Greene tallied 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, and Jarrid Famous scored 10 points for the D-Fenders. Tulsa (12-11) was paced by Oklahoma City Thunder assignee Jeremy Lamb (6'5''-G/F-92, college: Connecticut) (30 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals), Hollis Thompson (6'8''-F-91, college: Georgetown) (16 points, 6 rebounds), and Andy Rautins (14 points, 8 rebounds). Dominique Sutton (13 points, 7 rebounds) and Rasual Butler (12 points) also scored in double-figures for the 66ers, who led by as many as 36 points and never trailed after grabbing the lead with 6:15 remaining the first quarter. A bulk of the 66ers points came in the paint (44 points) and on second-chance baskets (23 points), as they grabbed 18 offensive rebounds (57 total rebounds) on the game. Meanwhile, the D-Fenders pulled down 6 offensive rebounds (33 total rebounds), scored just 34 points in the paint and notched only six second chance points. The D-Fenders will have a rematch against the 66ers (NBA Affiliate: Oklahoma City) tomorrow night at 5 to cap off the quick two-game road trip in Tulsa. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Maine RC - Santa Cruz W. 101-120 Two Santa Cruz Warriors took off for another fast break. This time, the Maine Red Claws got back with three defenders. No problem for the Warriors. Darington Hobson's behind-the-back pass zipped by two Red Claws and Travis Leslie collected it and dropped in the layup -- for a 26-point lead in the third quarter. Santa Cruz humbled the Red Claws in its first of seven straight road games, beating Maine 120-101 Friday night before a crowd of 2,484 at the Portland Expo. It was Santa Cruz's largest scoring output of the season, and only the sixth time it has eclipsed 100 points. Stefhon Hannah (6'1''-PG-85, agency: N.E.T., college: Missouri) led the charge with a team-high 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting. The point guard added five rebounds, six assists and four steals for Santa Cruz (15-8), which will play Springfield, Mass., on Saturday at 4 p.m. Five others deposited double-digit point totals. Taylor Griffin (6'8''-F-86, college: Oklahoma) had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Edwin Ubiles and Hilton Armstrong added 17 points apiece off the bench. Mickell Gladness and Cameron Jones supplied 16 and 11 points, respectively. Lance Goulbourne was the lone Warrior to not score, although he pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. The Red Claws (16-10) looked in trouble from the start. Santa Cruz led by nine after one quarter and by 20 at halftime. Maine never threatened. Maine was out-shot (51 percent to 43), out-rebounded (51-38) and out-played, including 18 Maine turnovers to 12 by the Warriors. Red Claws coach Mike Taylor said his team is weary, having played five games in eight days, including Thursday night in Springfield, Mass. "We had a lot of tired players," Taylor said. "Transition defense was a problem all game. That's the sign of a tired team. Defensive rebounding was a problem all game. That's the sign of a tired team. "It just seemed like whenever we tried to make a play, we would dribble the ball off a foot. And Santa Cruz played an excellent game." The Warriors were playing their fourth game in eight days -- the previous one on Monday -- while Leslie supplied some fresh legs off the bench. The team's first-round pick in this year's D-League Draft, Leslie had been sidelined with groin pain for the previous eight games. He finished with eight points and four rebounds in 11 minutes against the Red Claws. Maine guard Micah Downs (6'8''-G/F-86, agency: Priority Sports, college: Gonzaga), who led all scorers with 28 points, said the difficult schedule may have been a factor. "It's tough to do," he said. "But it's not an excuse, we're professionals." Maine was down a player as popular guard Champ Oguchi was waived before the game -- apparently at Oguchi's request. Oguchi watched his former teammates from the first row behind the Red Claws' bench. What Oguchi saw was not pretty. Downs kept the Red Claws close, briefly, when he hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes. But, soon, the Red Claws got a taste of the Warriors' league-leading defense. Adding to Santa Cruz's defensive muscle was its ability to sprint in transition. Several times, the Red Claws were caught watching the Warriors make another fast-break basket. "Transition defense has been our Achilles heel all year," Downs said. Santa Cruz's half-court game was not bad, either. The Warriors combined lively guard play with quickness inside. Maine's 7-foot center Fab Melo could not contain Santa Cruz's post players, especially the back-up center Armstrong. Armstrong, a 6-foot-11 veteran out of UConn, continually drove around Melo. At one point, after another Armstrong basket, Melo looked to the Maine bench and shrugged. "You could see Fab was fatigued," Taylor said. Melo finished with four points, three blocked shots and one rebound. Point guard Andre Barrett recorded 17 points and 11 assists. DaJuan Summers also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Courtesy of: santacruzsentinel.com
Erie Bay H. - Ft.Wayne MA 96-107 Luke Harangody (6'7''-F-88, agency: Priority Sports, college: Notre Dame) scored 29 points and pulled down 17 rebounds as Fort Wayne defeated the Erie BayHawks 107-96 tonight at Erie Insurance Arena. The BayHawks (12-10) jumped out to a 16-2 lead, but after a quick timeout Fort Wayne (12-13) started dominating on offense. The Mad Ants pulled away for good in the third quarter by going on a 16-0 run to expand a small 65-62 lead to 81-62. Tony Mitchell (6'6''-F-92, college: Alabama) added 23 points and eight rebounds for Fort Wayne (12-13), which will take on Erie Sunday at 2 p.m. before finally going home. The Mad Ants are on a six-game road trip that started Jan. 12. Henry Sims (6'10''-C-90, college: Georgetown) scored a career-high 30 points for Erie, while D.J. Kennedy had 24 points and 16 rebounds. Courtesy of: goerie.com
DeJuan Blair (ex Jiangsu TX) agreed terms with Texas Legends - 1 day ago
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Texas Legends inked 28-year old power forward DeJuan Blair (201-120kg-89, college: Pittsburgh). He started the season at Jiangsu Tongxi in Chinese CBA league. In 10 games he recorded very impressive stats: 24.1ppg, 13.6rpg, 1.4apg and 2.0spg this season. Blair ended the last season at the Suns. But the most of that year he spent at the Wizards where in 28 NBA games he averaged just 2.2ppg and 2.0rpg. In 2009 Blair was drafted by San Antonio Spurs (NBA) in second round (37th overall). The... [read more]
Texas Legends inked 28-year old power forward DeJuan Blair (201-120kg-89, college: Pittsburgh). He started the season at Jiangsu Tongxi in Chinese CBA league. In 10 games he recorded very impressive stats: 24.1ppg, 13.6rpg, 1.4apg and 2.0spg this season. Blair ended the last season at the Suns. But the most of that year he spent at the Wizards where in 28 NBA games he averaged just 2.2ppg and 2.0rpg. In 2009 Blair was drafted by San Antonio Spurs (NBA) in second round (37th overall). The former University of Pittsburgh staris in his eighth season in pro basketball. Blair was selected to NBA All-Star Game All-Sophmore Team back in 2011. He has played previously professionally in Russia (Krasnie Krilya) and other NBA team (Dallas Mavericks). Blair's game is described as:
(by Aran Smith for NBADraft.net in 2009)
Powerful post player with tremendous rebounding ability … Uses his wide base, long arms and soft hands to inhale every rebound in his area … Has a true NBA skill, rebounding.
Doesn't have great explosiveness either which makes creating shots against bigger and more athletic players a challenge … … At times showed his inexperience late in the year making careless mental errors in key moments.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants welcome back Bentil - 1 day ago
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Fort Wayne Mad Ants tabbed 22-year old naturalized Ghanian forward Ben Bentil (206-104kg-95, college: Providence). It is actually his comeback to Fort Wayne Mad Ants as he has played here before. Bentil played recently at Xinjiang Flying Tigers in Chinese CBA league. In 11 games he averaged 13.7ppg, 4.8rpg and 1.0spg this season. Bentil also played earlier that season for another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in only one CBA game he had very impressive stats: 27 points, 10 rebounds, 1 st... [read more]
Fort Wayne Mad Ants tabbed 22-year old naturalized Ghanian forward Ben Bentil (206-104kg-95, college: Providence). It is actually his comeback to Fort Wayne Mad Ants as he has played here before. Bentil played recently at Xinjiang Flying Tigers in Chinese CBA league. In 11 games he averaged 13.7ppg, 4.8rpg and 1.0spg this season. Bentil also played earlier that season for another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in only one CBA game he had very impressive stats: 27 points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Last year Bentil was drafted by Boston Celtics (NBA) in second round (51st overall). The former Providence College staris in his first season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Bentil's team made it to the Big East Tournament Semifinals for two years in a row (2015 and 2016). He received also All-Big East Most Improved Player of the Year award and NABC All-District 5 1st Team award in 2016 at his college time. Bentil has played also professionally in NBA (Indiana Pacers).
Marcus Simmons (ex Phoenix) signs at Drive - 1 day ago
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Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Te... [read more]
Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Texas Legends (D-League) in sixth round (88th overall). The former University of Southern California standoutis in his sixth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Simmons played in the final of D-League in 2015. He received also All-Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award back in 2011 at his college time. Simmons has played previously professionally in Japan (Yokohama B-Corsairs) and D-League (Canton Charge).
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