Bender, Mason and Adams combine for 70 points in the victory
OSHKOSH, Wis (Jan. 3, 2020) – The Wisconsin Herd (16-4), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, collected its 16th win of the season with a 111-94 victory over the Windy City Bulls (10-10) on Friday night inside Sears Centre Arena.
Four Herd players scored in double figures with three of the four players tallying 20 points or more. Dragan Bender, who was assigned to Wisconsin by the Milwaukee Bucks, totaled a career-high 27 points and added nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Frank Mason collected 22 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Jaylen Adams tallied 21 points, five rebounds and season-high-tying 10 assists. D.J. Hogg recorded his second double-double of the season and added 11 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks off the bench.
Milton Doyle led the way for Windy City as he tallied 27 points of his own to go with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Adam Mokoka and Chicago Bulls assignee Chandler Hutchison scored 14 points apiece, while Thomas Wilder had 11 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Windy City began the contest by scoring the opening four points of the game and making its first five shots from the field. Despite the efficient offensive start, Wisconsin managed to tie the game at 12 upon the first media timeout. Bender served as the catalyst and scored 11 of the Herd’s first 14 points. As a team, the Herd shot just 40% from the floor but posted 36 first quarter points. Conversely, the Bulls made 15 of its 23 shots, but on the strength of 13 total points by Bender, Wisconsin led by one at the end of the first 12 minutes.
To start the second quarter, Mokoka poured in a three-pointer which gave Windy City its first lead since the score read 12-10 in the early portion of the opening period. Both offenses took a step back and combined for 51 points on 39% shooting. The nip-and-tuck stanza featured five ties and nine lead changes with neither team creating more than four points of separation. Bender’s impressive first half continued as he made three of his four shots in the frame and scored six points to lead all Herd players. With the Bulls leading by one with just over 10 seconds remaining in the half, Mokoka capped the quarter by pouring in his second three-pointer of the period. In total, Windy City shot 52% in the half, had two players score in double figures and led 63-59 at the intermission.
After Windy City grabbed its largest lead of the night at six, Wisconsin rattled off 18 of the next 20 points and turned a 67-61 deficit into a 79-69 lead. The duo of Mason and Bender proved to be key as they combined to score 12 of the 18 points during the extended run. With under a minute left to play in the third quarter, the Herd built upon its lead and took a commanding 13-point advantage on a long ball by Adams. The 13-point lead served as the largest of the night for Wisconsin and ended a period where the Herd outpaced the Bulls by 17 points. Wisconsin had its most impressive defensive quarter to date as it held Windy City to 17% percent shooting and a season-low eight points. Because of the relentless defensive effort and lopsided scoring, the Herd led 84-71 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Windy City pieced together a mini 5-0 spurt at the outset of the fourth quarter and trimmed the Wisconsin lead eight. The Herd nearly went scoreless for the first four minutes of the stanza and didn’t tally its first points until Leon Gilmore knocked down a three with 8:14 remaining in the contest. The Gilmore basket allowed Wisconsin to retake a double-digit lead, but with just over five and a minutes left to play, the Bulls cut its deficit to five. Even though Windy City mounted a late comeback attempt, the Bulls were never able to pull closer. Wisconsin concluded the game by scoring the final 12 points of the contest and won in convincing fashion, 111-94.
With the win, the Herd improve to 4-7 all-time against Windy City and have won two of the three meetings this season. In addition, this is the second time Wisconsin has held an opponent to under 100 points this season, and in those contests, the Herd are 2-0. Wisconsin maintains its two and a half game lead over the Maine Red Claws and the 16 win are tied with the Memphis Hustle for the most in the G League.
The Herd have two games remaining on the three-game road swing with stops in Long Island and Fort Wayne. Tip-off against the Nets is slated for Sunday, Jan. 5 at 2:00 PM CT and the game can be found on NBAGLeague.com.