Almond's 27 Not Enought As Armor Fall To 66ers
SPRINGFIELD, MA Dec. 12, 2009 - Armor new addition Morris Almond scored 27 points and the team's 91 points marked a new season high, but the Armor couldn't pull out their first ever win and dropped to 0-6 on the season. The Tulsa 66ers beat the Springfield for the second time in three nights as Morris Almond, Chris Lowe, and TJ Cummings all made their debut in Springfield uniforms. The 66ers, led by Mustafa Shakur's 25 points, pulled away in the 4th quarter for a 98-91 win in front of 2,221 fans.
Things started out well for the home team, as Adam Harrington broke out of his early season shooting slump and hit four of his first five shots from the field. Springfield's physical defense frustrated Tulsa early, leading to Tulsa head coach Nate Tibbett's first technical foul of the season. Jameson Curry was active on defense in the quarter, stealing the ball twice and drawing a charge. For only the second time all season, the Armor led after the first quarter and would take a five point advantage into the second.
Almond scored his first two points for the Armor early in the second quarter and would pour in 10 more before the half. Springfield held off the 66ers for the most of the quarter before Tulsa's rebounding prowess and the play of center Byron Mullens (19 points, 5 rebounds in the game) gave the visiting team a 34-32 lead midway through. The 66ers held a 23 to 17 rebounding edge in the half, nine of those on the offensive end. But the Armor, led by Almond's scoring and Curry's passing, fought back and took a 46-44 lead into the half.
Jameson Curry scored five quick points to start the second half, but was forced to leave the game after picking up his fifth foul. Tulsa defenders had trouble guarding Almond, who repeatedly got into the lane and drew fouls. Almond shot seven free throws in the quarter, making six. Armor defenders had just as tough a time guarding Shakur, who scored 18 points in the quarter after scoring only two points in the first half. Shakur made only one shot out of five in the first half but was perfect in the third quarter, hitting all seven of his shots. After a back-and-forth first half of the quarter featuring five lead changes and four ties, Shakur and Tulsa began to pull away and took an 8 point lead into the fourth quarter.
TJ Cummings, one of the new additions to the Armor and son of NBA great Terry Cummings, kept the Armor in the game in the fourth quarter with his rebounding and soft touch inside. Cummings finished the game with six rebounds and 12 points. Hungry for their first victory, the Armor got within 3 points early in the fourth but the 66ers answered each Armor run, taking a commanding 11 point lead with 3:48 left in the game. The Armor would have to wait for their first win as the 66ers proved to be too much. Tulsa climbed back to the .500 mark on the season (4-4) and the Armor fell to 0-6.
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