Idaho Stampede 125, Los Angeles D-Fenders 119 (Box Score)
- Yet another Idaho fast-paced special. Los Angeles actually was ahead after one, but they don't have enough guys who can score efficiently to be able to hang with the Stampede over the course of a game - or, I should say, they can hang with them but probably won't win too often. They also don't have enough defenders (I almost did it, but then would've hated myself).
- The Stampede were led by Andre Barrett, scoring-wise anyway, with 28 points (on 14 shots, excellent work). Coby Karl actually was the one who was running the point late in the game, and finished with 22 points and eight assists.
- Lance Allred finished with just nine points on nine shots, but he also had 10 rebounds and held Michael Fey to half that many boards.
- Mildon Ambres had an excellent scoring game coming off the bench, finishing with 15 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter.
- For Los Angeles, Ryan Forehan-Kelly caused some legit matchup problems and scored 28 points. James Wright had an excellent game with 25 points on 16 shots, probably the best he's played all season. Joe Crawford had 16 points on ten shots off the bench along with five rebounds; his numbers were almost identical to starting center Michael Fey, who had 17 points on ten shots and five boards. I'll let you decide for yourself what that means.
Austin Toros 95, Rio Grande Valley Vipers 90 (Box Score)
- Rockets center Yao Ming was in attendance for this game to help announce that Houston will be playing against the Magic in the Vipers' arena next year. Kinda neat. Next up: convincing NBA teams to play in Bakersfield's arena, which features approximately two rows of seats.
- I didn't catch much of this game, but I can tell you that Vipers play by play man Alex del Barrio can make 20 seconds of free throws sound exciting.
- Alonzo Gee's call-up means that Curtis Jerrells is the default scoring option now, which fits his style of play pretty well but might not do wonders for his point guard development. Still, he combined his 23 points with seven assists, so maybe I'm nitpicking.
- Dwayne Jones added 23 points of his own along with 19 rebounds, nine of which came on the offensive end. I see David Hinojosa's live blog saying that Jones blew several layups and I kind of understand why an NBA team might pass on him, but then again, I really can't.
- Austin's bench has been thin for most of the year, and now with Gee joining Washington and Luke Bonner getting a DNP (anyone know why?), it's back to looking that way. Squeaky Johnson was a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc and finished with 15 points, but...Squeaky Johnson really shouldn't be your primary bench scoring option.
- Whoops, haven't mentioned the Vipers. Julian Sensley had a terrific game with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Mike Harris returned and had his usual outstanding effort - 25 points and 12 boards. He needs to get back to the NBA, and quick.
Albuquerque Thunderbirds 108, Fort Wayne Mad Ants 104 (Box Score)
- Two contrasting approaches here: the Thunderbirds got a combined 49 points from their starting guards (Antoine Agudio and Keith McLeod), while Fort Wayne had a more balanced attack, with seven of their eight players reaching double figures. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean the Mad Ants were sharing the ball. 18 total assists for them, just slightly more than McLeod+Agudio (14).
- Rob Kurz seems to have recovered from his injury now, or at least playing like he is. 16 point and 12 boards, but still coming off the bench (I'll bet that changes soon). Sean Sonderleiter had a nice performance as well, with a team-high 20 points (you read that correctly) and 11 rebounds.
- Does Trey Gilder come with a warning label that says Caution: Do Not Start or something? I know he can give energy off the bench, but I'd think that wouldn't matter much when your starting frontcourt consists of Sasha Cuic (1-9) and Marcus Hubbard (okay, 18 points, but still). Gilder didn't have a great game himself, so maybe I picked the wrong time to argue about this.
- Every now and then Ryan Ayers turns in a game that makes me say "oh right, that's why he gets so much playing time." 3-5 shooting from outside and 16 total points on nine shots for Ayers in this one, and these types of games actually are becoming more frequent. I'm not sure if he's finally "figured it out" or the Fort Wayne coaching staff has figured out how to best utilize his talents.