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Thirteen proves to be lucky for Altitude

February 13, 2004 - NBA G League (G League) - Asheville Altitude News Release

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Feb. 13 - Thirteen was definitely not unlucky for the Asheville Altitude as they beat the Huntsville Flight 98-88 to earn their 13th win of the season, in their 13th home game, on Friday the 13th to boast a winning record for the first time since beginning the season 1-0. Asheville’s Desmond Penigar led all scorers with a double-double performance, netting 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 26 minutes of play.

The game was close through much of the first half with 12 lead changes and five ties, before the Altitude went on a 15-2 second quarter run to gain a 49-36 advantage. Asheville led by as much as 13 points before Erick Barkley connected for two points just prior to the halftime buzzer, rendering a 49-38 score.

Asheville began the second half the same way they ended the first, opening with a 19-9 burst to go up 69-47, and put the game away. Asheville’s defense played a key role in the victory as they held the Flight to just 35.3% from the field, the first time they’ve held an opponent to under 40% shooting this season. They also shared the ball well, dishing out 30 assists while Huntsville had only nine dimes.

"From an offensive standpoint we had 30 assists on 36 baskets, which means we’re sharing the ball well," said Asheville Coach Joey Meyer. "But, we weren’t great on the offensive boards and we’ll have to better to beat Columbus tomorrow night."

Frustration showed for Huntsville as Assistant Coach Mike Born and player Rodney Bias were each hit with technical fouls before Erick Barkley was ejected from the game after receiving two quick techs of his own with just under eight minutes to play in the third quarter.

Player of the Game Lavor Postell poured in 19 points on 5-8 shooting and handed out seven assists for Asheville. Greg Stevenson turned in his fourth straight double-figure performance with 15 points and six assists. Antonio Meeking was the only other Altitude player to score in double figures with 10 points. Mamadou N’Diaye pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Four Asheville players finished with more than six assists.

Despite the poor shooting, Huntsville had five players reach double-figures with Mateen Cleaves leading the way with 20 points and three assists coming off the bench. Rod Grizzard started hot, connecting on 6-of-11 shots in the first half for 14 points, however he did not make another shot from the field in the game, finishing with 18 points on 6-of-20 shooting. Marcus Fleming registered 18 points and nine rebounds for the Flight and Bryan Bracey added 11 points off the bench. Phil Ricci also came off the bench to chip in 10 points.

The win, combined with a Fayetteville Patriots loss tonight, rockets the red-hot Altitude from fifth place to a tie for third place in the NBDL, ironically with Huntsville.

"We’ve got great momentum right now," said Asheville’s Lavor Postell. "We’re on a mission."

Asheville, now 13-12, will try to extend their win streak to four games when they host the Columbus Riverdragons tomorrow night at the Asheville Civic Center. Huntsville will try to get back on track as they return home to host second place Roanoke.

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