Wizards Can't Fight Off Arsenal
BISMARCK, N.D.- The Dakota Wizards started the night out strong but couldn't hold on losing to the Anaheim Arsenal 114 - 108 tonight at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Rod Benson's dunk half way through the first quarter gave the Wizards an early 14-2 lead to start the match up. Forward Carlos Powell, who scored 12 of his 26 points in the first quarter, paced Dakota to a 33-23 lead after one period of play.
Anaheim picked up the pace in the third quarter starting the second half with a 15-8 run to tie the ball game up at 72 all. After an Arsenal steal by Will Blalock that led to a lay up by guard Mo Charlo, who finished with a team high 21 points, which gave Anaheim the lead that they would not lose for the rest of the contest.
"It all comes back to taking care of the basketball", said Wizards head coach Duane Ticknor. "We started strong in the first half, but then our guys lost their concentration, and you can't do that in this league".
Anaheim moved to 16-25 on the season, and dominated the glass out rebounding Dakota 49-36. Forward Kendrick Brown celebrated his birthday with his fourth double double of the year pulling down a team high 10 rebounds to go with 18 points. Guard Will Blalock finished the match up with a team high 21 points and seven assists. Center Marcus Campbell also helped with the rebounding total finishing with nine boards and 18 points.
The Wizards, now 23 -18 and still one game ahead of Sioux Falls in the Central Division race, was led in scoring by guard Blake Ahearn who finished with a game high 30 points. Ahearn's miss at the charity stripe in the second quarter ended his streak of 78 consecutive free throw attempts, which is a Wizards team record. Forward Will Frisby recorded his fourth straight double figure game off the bench with 15 points on the night.
Dakota wraps up the regular season at home against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants as they face them three straight times Starting on Friday March 21st and ending on the 25th. Anaheim stays on the road to face the Iowa Energy on Wednesday March 19th.
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