Bulls Go Down in Erie, 100-99
The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the official G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, came up just shy of a victory in Erie, Pennsylvania on Saturday night, 100-99.
Both teams started well offensively in the early going, but as the Bulls cooled off the Bayhawks remained steady, finishing the first quarter shooting .550 from the field and .455 from the three-point line.
Erie took a 29-25 lead into the second frame led by New Orleans Pelicans Two-Way player out of LSU, Josh Gray with nine points.
Windy City picked up the defense in the second quarter, grabbing six steals and forcing 13 Erie turnovers in the first half. Milton Doyle and Simi Shittu sparked the scoring for the Bulls with 16 and 11 points respectively to go along with ten rebounds and three steals between them.
Leading the way for the Bayhawks were Gray with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, and former Wisconsin Badger Vitto Brown with nine points and four rebounds.
The Bulls erased the four-point deficit leading into halftime as the two teams were knotted up 51-51 at the break.
It was a see-saw battle early in the second half until Windy City went on a 16-8 run led by ten third-quarter points from Justin Simon to take an 80-76 lead into the final frame.
The Bayhawks quickly erased the deficit early in the fourth, taking an 81-80 lead with nine minutes left. The lead then changed hands seven times in the closing minutes with the Bulls using a steal and slam by Shittu to take a 99-95 lead with under two minutes left.
Erie fought back once again at home, closing on a 5-0 run punctuated by a three-point play slam by New Orleans Pelicans Two-Way player Zylan Cheatham.
The Bulls had possession down one point with 8.8 seconds remaining, only to have two point-blank shots rim in and out as time expired.
Shittu and Justin Simon both recorded double-doubles for Windy City. Shittu tallied 24 points to go with 15 rebounds. Simon finished with 23 points, ten rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Cheatham scored 11 fourth quarter points to end up with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Gray led the Bayhawks in scoring with 23 points along with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Windy City (11-14) will have a few days off before traveling to Washington D.C. to take on the Capital City Go-Go next Thursday, then head back home to host the Grand Rapids Drive next Saturday for Deaf Awareness Night at Sears Centre Arena.
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