Wisconsin Schools College Park on Education Day
COLLEGE PARK, GA - The Wisconsin Herd (26-8), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, collected its third consecutive win with a 118-115 victory over the College Park Skyhawks (18-17) on Tuesday morning inside Gateway Center Arena.
Seven Herd players scored in double figures, including each of the five starters. Jaylen Adams led all Wisconsin players with 17 points and added five rebounds and three assists. For the second consecutive game, Trevor Lacey scored 10 points or more and posted 16 points, while tying his season-high with four threes. Three players (D.J. Hogg, Frank Mason and Luke Maye) all scored 15 points apiece, while Jemerrio Jones recorded a stat line of 14 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. Cameron Reynolds pitched in with 12 points and five rebounds.
Three players scored 20 or more points for College Park, and the team was led by Tahjere McCall who poured in a game-high 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting. McCall added 13 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and two blocks. Nick Ward collected a double-double of his own and registered 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Armoni Brooks had 24 points and six rebounds. Marcus Derrickson notched 17 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Tuesday's early morning tip-off didn't yield a slow offensive start as the two teams combined to score 31 points in the opening five minutes of the game. Wisconsin made seven of its first 10 shots from the field and owned a 17-14 lead upon reaching the first media timeout. Following the stoppage, the Herd totaled eight straight points, which resulted in Wisconsin's first double-digit lead of the day. Adams and Lacey poured in back-to-back threes, and with 5:18 left to play in the period, the Herd forged ahead 25-14. Wisconsin led by as many as 14, but with just under 90 seconds remaining, the Skyhawks sliced its deficit to five. For the quarter, the Herd shot 54% from the field and the team was led by Jones and Adams, who scored eight points apiece. Wisconsin and College Park combined to score 67 points in the first quarter, but the Herd ended the period on top, 37-30.
The Skyhawks made it a one-point game after scoring the first six points of the second quarter. Wisconsin tallied just six points in the first five minutes of the stanza but managed to maintain its lead throughout the remainder of the half. Despite the sluggish offensive start and seeing its 14-point advantage dwindled to one, the Herd regained a double figure lead on another long ball by Lacey. Wisconsin reupped its lead to 12, even though the team shot 33% and made three of its 17 three-point attempts. Conversely, the Skyhawks turned the ball over six times in the period, made just eight field goals and shot 2-for-12 from three. The Herd limited College Park to 22 points, outscored the Skyhawks by four and led 63-52 at the intermission.
College Park collected the first points of the second half, but Wisconsin responded with five quick points on baskets by Maye and Mason. The Herd went on to grab its largest lead of the night at 15 on Maye's second three-pointer of the game. By the halfway point of the third quarter, the Skyhawks trimmed eight points off the Wisconsin lead and with 5:13 on the clock, RJ Hunter buried a three which made it a 77-71 game. The Herd, however, withstood the College Park run and for the third time in the game, Wisconsin extended its lead to double figures lead after scoring 11 of the next 17 points. Not much was decided in the third period as each team scored 31 points apiece. The Skyhawks shot 50% in the stanza, but due to the even scoring, College Park trailed by 11 heading into the final 12 minutes.
In similar fashion to the second quarter, the Skyhawks scored the first six points of the final frame. The 6-0 spurt made it a five-point game, and with just under nine minutes to play, College Park made it a 96-94 game on a three-point shot from Brooks. He shot lights out to start the quarter and scored the first 14 points for the Skyhawks. College Park's 15-point comeback came full circle as Ward stuffed home a dunk with 3:46 remaining in the game. The 108-107 lead was the Skyhawks first since the team lead 2-0 in the opening 10 seconds of the contest. College Park's slim lead didn't last long as Maye put the Herd on top 30 seconds later with a tip in layup. The fourth quarter alone featured two ties and six lead changes, but Wisconsin took the lead for good in the final 63 seconds as Jones nailed a pair of free throws. The fourth quarter was the Skyhawks most impressive the team made half of its shots and outscored the Herd by eight. In spit of that, Wisconsin scored the final six points of the game and won in thrilling fashion, 118-115.
With the win, the Herd evens the season series at one game apiece. College Park collected an eight-point road victory over Wisconsin on Jan. 30, and the Herd returned the favor with a three-point victory on Tuesday. The two teams will square of one final time in the season-finale on Mar. 28. Wisconsin now has a G League-best 26 wins this season and own a two-game lead over the Memphis Hustle and Maine Red Claws for the league's best record.
The Herd have one game remaining before the 2020 NBA All-Star break. Wisconsin will host the Greensboro Swarm on Thurs., Feb. 13. Tip-off inside Menominee Nation Arena is set for 7PM CT.
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