Wisconsin scores season-high 140 points in victory
Uniondale, NY (Jan. 5, 2020) – The Wisconsin Herd (17-4), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, collected its league-leading 17th win of the season with a 140-128 victory over the Long Island Nets (6-14) on Sunday afternoon inside NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Coliseum.
All five Herd starters scored in double figures and seven total players scored 10 or more points for Wisconsin on Sunday. Frank Mason poured in a game-high 28 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Dragan Bender, who was on assignment for the second consecutive game, tallied his fifth double-double of the season and posted a stat line of 25 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and season-high four blocks. Jaylen Adams had 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, and Brandon McCoy recorded a season-high 17 points and added six rebounds off the bench. Jemerrio Jones collected 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals, with Cameron Reynolds notching 13 points and four boards. For the third time in four games, A.J. Hess scored in double figures and pitched in with 10 points in a reserve role.
The Nets were short-handed on Sunday as the team only had eight available players. Just like Wisconsin, seven of the eight players scored in double figures with C.J. Williams and Ash Yacoubou leading the way with 22 points apiece. The two players shot a combined 14 for 29 from the field, and Yacoubou added 13 rebounds and three assists. John Egbunu totaled 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while Devin Cannady recorded 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Joe Cremo had 16 points and eight assists and Jaylen Hands posted 13 points, four rebounds and seven assists of his own. Jonathan Kasibabu scored 11 points in 22 minutes of action.
Long Island opened the contest by scoring 11 of the game’s first 16 points, but the Herd managed to tie the game after Mason and Reynolds poured in back-to-back three-pointers. Both teams got off to an efficient offensive start and combined to make eight total field goals upon reaching the first media timeout. After trailing by as many as six points, Wisconsin regained the lead at the 7:51 mark of the first period and maintained the advantage for the remainder of the contest. Eight different Herd players cracked the scoring column in the opening 12 minutes and Reynolds paced all players with eight points in the stanza. As a team, Wisconsin shot 47% percent from the field, made five threes and led 33-29 at the end of the first quarter.
Reynolds efficient offensive start persisted in the second quarter and he gave the Herd its first double-digit lead of the afternoon on a 27-foot long ball. Wisconsin increased its advantage to 16 and ultimately led by 22 on a couple occasions. Reynolds sparked the offense in the first period and Bender carried the load in the second quarter. He made four of his five shots from the floor, nailed all four of his three-pointers and tallied 12 points which led all scorers. In the frame, Wisconsin shot 53%, tallied a season-high 39 second quarter points and outscored the Nets by 17. For the half, the Herd made 14 of its 27 shots from downtown, tied its season-high with 72 first half points and led 72-51 heading into the intermission.
Despite Wisconsin’s dominance in the second quarter, Long Island managed to significantly cut into the Herd’s lead with a strong third period. Within the first six and a half minutes of the stanza, the Nets trimmed what was once a 22-point deficit down to 11. As a team, Long Island shot over 53% in the quarter and buried eight of its 14 threes. McCoy was able to quiet the Nets extended run as he scored 11 points in the stanza, including six consecutive points for the Herd at one juncture. In summation, Wisconsin surrendered a season-high 42 third quarter points, but still led 106-93 heading into the final 12 minutes.
To open the fourth quarter, the Herd scored the first five points and reopened an 18-point lead. In response to Wisconsin’s mini 5-0 spurt, Long Island knocked in consecutive three balls by Yacoubou and Williams and made it a 111-99 game with 9:52 left to play in the contest. After multiple efforts, the Nets trimmed the lead to single digits and made it a nine-point game with just over four minutes remaining. However, the Herd countered with five unanswered points of its own, and Long Island was unable to trim its deficit past nine. Wisconsin scored at least 33 points in every quarter and collected its ninth double-digit victory of the season.
The 140 points scored serve as a season-high and are the second-most the team has scored in franchise history. The Herd scored a franchise-high 148 points on Mar. 13, 2019 in a victory over the Delaware Blue Coats. With the win, Wisconsin is now 6-0 against the Atlantic Division and has won a league-best 11 road games this season.
On Tuesday, the Herd will try to complete the sweep of its three-game road trip with its second and final stop in Fort Wayne. In the lone head-to-head matchup this season, Fort Wayne squandered a 17-point fourth quarter lead and narrowly defeated Wisconsin 125-124 on Dec. 16. Tip-off inside Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is set for 6:00 PM on Jan. 7 and the game can be found on ESPN+.