Austin Toros 109, Albuquerque Thunderbirds 104
The Toros outrebounded the T-birds 45-29, which is what happens when one team starts Dwayne Jones at center (13 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks) and the other one has Kevin Pittsnogle (seven points on 3-9 shooting, four rebounds, five fouls). The Toros also turned the ball over a lot, 23 times in all, six of which came from Alonzo Gee (who otherwise had an excellent game; 35 points on 12-17 shooting, 8-10 from the free throw line, six rebounds), but Albuquerque missed a lot of the shots they got off of those turnovers and so never took proper advantage. David McClure got his second start and even managed to score. Austin trailed going into the fourth quarter but managed to pull this one out, with McClure getting six of his nine points early in the quarter (which I can only assume was the result of some kind of horrible defensive mix-up), and Curtis Jerrells scoring 12 of his 23 points in the last four minutes of the game. Jerrells finished with just three assists in almost 39 minutes, but the scoring was there last night, anyway.
The Thunderbirds got another pretty good game from Yaroslav Korolev, who's becoming the team's best rebounder; 12 boards for him along with 12 points and three blocks. Carlos Powell and Keith McLeod got to the free throw line fairly often, with Powell making 10 of his 11 attempts and McLeod going 13-16. They finished with 23 and 25 points, respectively, and Chad Toppert came off the bench to do what Pittsnogle can't (hit threes), going 3-6 from outside and finishing with 11 points. Erek Hansen has gotten DNPs in the last few games. I still haven't figured out why, but whatever it is, Albuquerque would do well to get him back and taking some of Pittsnogle's minutes, because Hansen is a very good shotblocker and can rebound a little bit. Well, Pittsnogle only rebounds a little bit, Hansen is a little bit better.
LA D-Fenders 110, Bakersfield Jam 97
Diamon Simpson is turning into quite the offensive weapon for the D-Fenders, and he led the team with 20 points along with nine rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive end. I have no idea what was up with Michael Fey in this one, since he played less than six minutes, but he's really tailed off from the first few games. Six D-Fenders scored in double figures, and none of the LA players had more shots than points (except for the 0-1 Fey), which has to be the first time this team has done that all year (and even then I guess it technically didn't happen). Attempting 52 free throws helps. Why did they do that, you ask? Read on.
Justin Hawkins played pretty well off the bench for Bakerfield with 19 points, Of course, he had to play well because three of the Jam's starters fouled out. Oh, and Hawkins fouled out too. That's right, four players for the Jam fouled out of this game, none of them playing more than 32 minutes (Amara Sy did it in just 20). 15 of the team's 38 personal fouls came in the fourth quarter by my count, 10 in the second quarter, and the Jam also got hit with several delay of game penalties as if this were some sort of football game. I know Bakersfield isn't very good, but I have to imagine that there were some overeager whistles. Deron Washington fouled out and Horace Wormely picked up five fouls for LA, but Bakersfield's players practically couldn't move without getting an offensive foul or a foul away from the ball or a shooting foul. I'm surprised that Will Voigt didn't get thrown out of this one arguing.