Wisconsin Sweeps Back-To-Back against Blue Coats
OSHKOSH, Wis - The Wisconsin Herd (30-9), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, collected its second consecutive win over the Delaware Blue Coats (19-18) with a 125-106 victory on Thursday night inside Menominee Nation Arena.
Frank Mason III collected his sixth 30-point game of the season and led the Herd in scoring for the fifth straight game. He tallied a game-high 35 points and shot 16-of-18 from the field. Cameron Reynolds tallied his eighth 20-point performance and scored 21 points, while making a career-high seven three-pointers. D.J. Wilson, who saw action in his third straight game while on assignment, had 17 points and eight rebounds, while D.J. Hogg added 11 points in his 13th start of the season.
Xavier Munford, the former Wisconsin Herd, led all Blue Coats players and notched a team-high 26 points, while adding 11 rebounds and eight assists. Marial Shayok recorded 16 points on a rough shooting night, while Zhaire Smith posted 16 points and seven rebounds in a reserve role. Christ Koumadje pitched in with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
To begin the game, Koumadje totaled the first two field goals and subsequently scored the first four points of the contest. He totaled six of the Blue Coats first nine points, and as a team, Delaware opened the game on a 7-0 run. In response, Wisconsin scored 10 of the next 12 points and grabbed an 11-10 advantage, which was the team's first of the night. After recapturing the lead, the Blue Coats forged ahead by as many as eight points and shot exactly 50% from the floor. Mason led all Herd players with eight points, but after shooting 1-for-7 from three, Wisconsin trailed 29-21 at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
In the early portion of the second quarter, Mason scored on back-to-back baskets which cut the Delaware lead in half. Moments later, he drilled his first three of the evening and made it a one-point game. With just under eight minutes to play in the half, Hogg tied the game at 35 on a long ball, and on the ensuing possession, Jones gave the Herd a 37-35 advantage on a layup. Wisconsin upped its lead to five, but on the strength of a mini 5-0 Blue Coats run, Delaware evened the score once more at 42. With six seconds remaining in the period, Mason gave the Herd 54-53 lead on his eighth field goal of the half. The second quarter featured three ties and nine lead changes as the two teams exchanged baskets at the conclusion of the stanza. Mason totaled 17 points in the half and Wisconsin led by one at the intermission.
Reynolds opened the second half by promptly knocking down a shot from distance, but on the next Delaware possession, Smith answered with one of his own. The Herd began the third quarter by making its first four shots from the floor, while scoring 10 points in just over 90 seconds. The run increased Wisconsin's lead to nine and forced a Blue Coats timeout at the 10:26 mark. Following the stoppage, Reynolds poured in his third and forth three-pointers of the period and the herd jumped out to a 70-55 lead. In total, Wisconsin made its first six shots to start the half, while Delaware made just one field goal in the quarter's first three and a half minutes. The Herd extended its lead to 16, but the Blue Coats sliced seven points off its deficit and made it a nine-point game with 5:23 left in the frame. However, by the end of the period, Wisconsin grabbed a 20-point lead on a three by Mason. For the quarter, the Herd shot an unbelievable 75% and scored 47 points, which is the highest scoring output in a single quarter in franchise history. Wisconsin outpaced Delaware by 19 and led 101-81 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Reynolds started the final stanza in similar fashion to the third quarter as he totaled his seventh three of the night. The Herd eventually pushed its lead to 28 points, which served as the largest of the night for either team. The end of the third period and the start of the fourth quarter proved to be the deciding factor in the game. The Blue Coats were never able to pull to within shouting distance, and Wisconsin posted its 14th double figure win of the season.
With the victory, the Herd completed the sweep of Delaware, winning all three games in the 2019-20 season. Wisconsin is 6-2 all-time against the Blue Coats, and the Herd have now won a league-best 25 games in conference play this year. Wisconsin is now 2.5 games ahead of the Maine Red Claws for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and three games ahead of the Memphis Hustle, who lead the West.
The Herd will hit the road for two games against conference foes. The road trip will feature stops in Westchester and Canton. Tip-off against the Knicks is set for 4PM CT on Saturday, Feb. 29.
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