Arsenal Fall to D-Fenders 107 - 102
Anaheim, Calif., February 1, 2008 - The old adage "bigger is better" proved to be the case once again in Friday night's Arsenal (9 -14) vs. D-Fenders (17 - 8) games. The D-Fenders had won all three contests with the Arsenal this season, and tonight proved to be no exception.
With a familiar face back in the line-up, Anaheim jumped out to a 33 - 24 lead at the end of first quarter behind Guillermo Diaz's 9 points. Diaz, who returned to the Arsenal after two consecutive 10-day contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers, looked sharp and aggressive splitting defenders on several occasions while taking the ball strong to the basket.
Diaz wasn't the only Arsenal player to carry the offensive load. Arsenal forward, Ivan Johnson racked up 18 points and 7 rebounds by halftime, helping the Arsenal gain an 11 point lead, 61 - 50.
The second half of the game was a different story for the Arsenal. Los Angeles' stingy third quarter defense resulted in fast break points and free throw opportunities. The triumvirate of Brian Chase, Sean Banks, and Cecil Brown helped the D-Fenders outscore the Arsenal 27 - 19 in the third. Chase, Banks, and Brown finished the quarter with 15, 14, and 13 points, respectively.
Coach Reggie Geary commented on the game, "It was a tale of two halves. We did a lot of good; we just need to figure out how to finish. We couldn't get those stops at the same rate we did in the first half."
In the fourth quarter, D-Fenders coach Dan Panaggio inserted a big line-up that consistently contested Arsenal shots. The smaller Arsenal line-up had trouble scoring throughout the quarter. After a Cecil Brown lay-up with 7:02 left in the game, the D-Fenders captured the lead 88 - 86 and never looked backed, winning the game 107 - 102. Los Angeles finished the game holding Anaheim to a 39.4% on 41-of-104 shooting.
Arsenal player Ivan Johnson commented on the loss, "We just couldn't finish tonight. We couldn't hit our lay-ups or jump shots in the fourth."
Los Angeles head coach Dan Panaggio said, "I'm proud we hung in there as a team. Anaheim played aggressive and took control. We fought hard and waited for our opportunity. I have to give credit to Anaheim, they played hard and had us on our heels all game."
The bright spots for the Arsenal were the return of Guillermo Diaz and the consistent stellar play of Ivan Johnson. Diaz led the Arsenal with 32 points, 6 assists, and 5 steals, while Johnson finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Arsenal Coach Geary says, "Guillermo had a great game. It's good to see him confident and playing like the good player he is."
Anaheim will play its next game tomorrow night versus the Idaho Stampede. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM. For more information about the Arsenal, call (714) 635-BALL or visit www.anaheimarsenal.com.
• Discuss this story on the NBA G League message board...
NBA G League Stories from February 2, 2008
- Tulsa claims victory over Toros - Tulsa 66ers
- Skyforce wins sixth straight - Sioux Falls Skyforce
- D-League Daily Developments - G League
- Arsenal Fall to D-Fenders 107 - 102 - Anaheim Arsenal
- Utah Flash Announce TV Schedule Change - Utah Flash
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.