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Altitude prevail over Riverdragons

April 6, 2005 - NBA G League (G League) - Asheville Altitude News Release

ASHEVILLE, N.C., April 6, 2005 - The Columbus Riverdragons squandered any chance of securing a NBDL regular season championship on the Altitude home court as they fell short to the defending NBDL champions, 97-89, Wednesday night at the Civic Center.

Asheville (26-20) received a very balanced offensive attack with five players finishing in double-figures. Joe Forte led the assault with 16 points while Tony Kitchings, Ron Slay, Timmy Bowers and Terrence Shannon all finished with 12 points each.

Reed Rawlings and Ramel Curry paced Columbus (28-18) with 21 points each. Randall Orr finished with a game-high 12 rebounds to go with two points.

“We need to execute better on offense down the stretch,” said Altitude head coach Joey Meyer. “After getting a lead early, we got sloppy. And playing sloppy almost cost us the game when we looked like we were rolling. But that’s how we play, we don’t like easy wins.”

After leading by as many as 15 points and ten (71-61) going into the fourth quarter, Columbus made the game close with some hot final period shooting.

After a turnover by Asheville with three minutes left to play in the game, Columbus’ Leroy Hurd brought the Riverdragons to within three points (87-84) with a two-handed dunk on a fast break.

Up by just three points, the Altitude turned to Kitchings late for big baskets. Using raw power to get position in the paint, Kitchings scored four of his 12 points in the last 2:45 of the game to help Asheville keep Columbus’ comeback at bay.

“It didn’t seem like a lot of points, but they were big points when we really needed them,” said Altitude forward Ron Slay. “But that’s what Kitchings has been doing for us a lot lately. He’s got a lot of confidence when he’s in the paint and he’s taking and making huge shots late in games.”

Asheville opened the game up early behind some hot shooting in the first quarter connecting on 14-of-22 (.636) baskets.

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