In the second game of their five-game homestand, the Westchester Knicks (6-3) picked up a huge division win over the Long Island Nets, 93-90. The loss marked Long Island’s first loss of the season.
Westchester maintained control in the first half due to their defensive play. Not only did Isaiah Hicks have a strong first half (14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks), Westchester’s head coach Mike Miller believed the team’s first half defense was closer to how the team wanted to play.
“I think the first half was closer to how we wanted to play defensively and maybe they just missed a few shots that they got,” Miller told reporters after the game. “I think they made some of those the second half. We just got back down the stretch when we really had to. We got a couple stops and it was choppy for both teams. I was most pleased down the stretch that we kept trying to move the ball and find the open guy, which we did and then getting the stops and rebounds. We had three at the end that we had to make.”
Long Island came out on fire with a 12-2 run to start the second half. Alan Williams hit a few shots early in the third quarter and helped push the Nets towards a double digit lead.
Despite that, Westchester pushed back and were down by eight points heading into the final quarter. The Knicks had their best quarter of the game and held their opponents to 13 points. Westchester remained poised in the final 12 minutes and walked away with their sixth victory. Miller detailed how the team is still building.
“I think it’s getting better,” Miller said. “I think both teams got a little bit tired there, so we were rotating different people in. We’re building slowly as we go and I think all of these little steps make a difference.”
Westchester was powered by Isaiah Hicks’ double-double (24 points and 10 rebounds), along with his three blocks. John Jenkins poured in 25 points and seven rebounds on 9-of-20 shooting from the field. Kadeem Allen had a strong overall game and finished with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Luke Kornet fell one point short of a double-double (9 points and 11 rebounds) and swatted three shots.
The Westchester Knicks return to action on Friday and Saturday in a back-to-back against the Wisconsin Herd (1-5).