Oklahoma City Drops Close Contest to Erie
ORLANDO - The Oklahoma City Blue (8-6) fell to the Erie BayHawks (11-3), 116-113, on Thursday evening.
Thunder two-way player Moses Brown grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds to go with 10 points for his 10th double-double of the season. Thunder assignment player Aleksej PokuÅ¡evski contributed seven points, six rebounds, one assist and one block.
"I thought we played to more of our identity and standard tonight even though it wasn't the result that we wanted," Head Coach Grant Gibbs said. "During that tough stretch tonight, I thought the guys came together and understood we were going to have chances to get back into it if we could defend as a team and they got the game back on track. I thought we executed well down the stretch as well, we just didn't quite do enough right, so credit to Erie."
The Blue jumped out to a 19-7 lead midway through the first frame and owned a 36-28 advantage after one quarter of play. Erie rallied back in the second to tie the game with just under three minutes to play in the first half and took a 69-62 lead into the break. Phil Booth had 13 first-half points on 4-for-5 shooting, including three makes from long range.
Erie used a big third-quarter run to extend its lead to 18 points midway through the frame and led the Blue 90-83 entering the fourth. The Blue were able to battle back in the fourth quarter and took its first lead of the second half with 1:27 to play as Brown knocked down a free throw. The BayHawks regained the advantage on the ensuing possession as Jalen Adams hit his eighth three-pointer of the night.
Free throws from Antonius Cleveland pulled Oklahoma City within one at 114-113 with 7.8 seconds on the clock before Cassius Winston hit two of his own to push the BayHawks lead back to three and the Blue were unable to convert on the other end.
Rob Edwards knocked down 6-of-8 from three to register a team-leading 23 points off the bench and Cleveland chipped in 20 points and four assists. Zavier Simpson produced 10 points, a game-best eight assists and seven rebounds.
Booth finished with 15 points, two rebounds and two assists. Omer Yurtseven scored 14 on the night, adding nine rebounds and two blocks.
Adams had a game-high 26 points for the BayHawks, shooting 9-for-16 from the field and 8-for-11 from beyond the arc. Jared Uthoff tallied 18 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.
The Blue will be back in action on Saturday, March 6 against the Santa Cruz Warriors in the regular-season finale at 2:30 p.m. CT at The Field House.
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