Wisconsin ties G League’s second-best record through 40 games
WESTCHESTER, NY (Feb. 29, 2020) – The Wisconsin Herd (31-9), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, collected its third straight win with a 115-108 victory over the Westchester Knicks (17-23) on Saturday evening inside Westchester County Center.
For the sixth straight game, Frank Mason III led the Herd in scoring and poured in a game-high 32 points to go with five assists and three steals. Cameron Reynolds totaled 17 points (7-12 FG) and seven rebounds, while Justin Patton shot 6-of-9 from the field and scored 15 points off the bench. Jemerrio Jones notched his 17th double-double of the season and recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds. Shannon Bogues pitched in with 11 points and five rebounds in a reserve role.
Westchester was without the services of both Two-Way players as Kadeem Allen and Kenny Wooten missed the game due to injury. In their absence, Ivan Rabb stepped up and collected his 18th double-double of the 2019-20 campaign. He registered 28 points (11-18 FG) and 15 rebounds. Andrew White III made four three-pointers and had 21 points, while Lamar Peters posted 15 points, 12 assists and two blocks. Tyler Hall made five of his eight shots and collected 13 points and three steals and Zak Irvin, the Michigan product, added 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Offense was plentiful at the outset of Saturday’s contest as the two teams combined to make six of their first seven shot attempts. Mason and Reynolds opened the scoring for Wisconsin and nailed three consecutive three-pointers. The duo combined to score 19 points in the quarter, including the Herd’s first 15. With 67 seconds remaining in the period, Wisconsin collected its first double-digit lead of the afternoon as Maye scored on a finger roll layup. In total, the Herd shot 60% in the frame and led 31-24 at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
Westchester tallied the first six points of the second quarter and sliced six points off its deficit. Hall drained a long ball and less than a minute later, Rabb totaled three points on an old-fashioned three-point play. Despite making it a one-point game on a couple occasions, the Knicks were unable to take the lead. With 1:24 left to play in the quarter, Wisconsin upped its advantage to 11, which served as the Herd’s largest of the first half. Westchester, however, responded by scoring eight of the final 10 points in the half, which trimmed Wisconsin’s lead to five. For the quarter, seven Herd players cracked the scoring column and the team was led by Brandon Randolph, who scored a team-high six points in the period. As a team, Wisconsin shot a tick over 51% and led 56-51 at the intermission.
The third quarter belonged to the road team as the Herd led for most of the period. With 7:14 on the clock, the Knicks captured a 67-66 lead on a 26-foot three-pointer by Peters. The one-point Westchester advantage was its first since the score read 2-0 in the opening 21 seconds of the game. The Knicks led for a total of 23 seconds as Mason put the Herd back in front on a three-point shot with 6:51 remaining in the quarter. By the end of the end of the frame, Wisconsin turned a slim one-point deficit into a 10-point lead as the Herd capped the stanza on a 10-2 run. For the second time in three quarters, Wisconsin scored 31 points and led 87-77 heading into the final 12 minutes.
With 10:47 left to play in the game, the Herd grabbed its largest lead of the evening as Bogues nailed a free throw worth two points. In the final minute, Hall made it a 111-106 game as he knocked down his third three of the contest. The five points of separation was as close as Westchester would get. On the ensuing possession Mason sealed the game on a driving layup. The Herd had complete control of the game as the Knicks led for a grand total of 42 seconds. Wisconsin shot a steady 48% from the field, which resulted in a 115-108 victory.
The Herd have now won eight of its last nine games and the team concludes its February schedule with an 8-3 record. Wisconsin has defeated Westchester both times this season, and the two teams will hook up one final time on Mar. 6 in Oshkosh. With the win, the Herd now owns a full three-game lead over the Maine Red Claws for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Wisconsin will look to sweep both games of the brief two-game road trip as the team heads to Canton to wrap up the season series against the Charge. The Herd are 2-1 against Canton this season, including 1-0 on the road. Tip-off inside Canton Memorial Civic Center is set for 10AM on Wednesday, Mar. 4.