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SB Mavs survive tough test, beat Memphis Lions 125-88

November 30, 2014

By Kirk Copeland
(318) 525-8853 cell
kirk@abamavericks.com

(Shreveport, LA)  – For the first time this season, the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks got a big test from a quality opponent.

Like they have done before, they pulled away in the second half and passed the test.

Led by center Brandon Davis, point guard Chris Hagan, and reigning ABA Most Valuable Player Ed Horton, the Mavs outscored Memphis 34-16 in the fourth quarter and came away with a 125-88 victory over the Lions Sunday afternoon at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

The Mavericks (6-0) have now won a professional basketball record 66 consecutive games, and have won 71 in a row at home.

“Great team,” said Shreveport-Bossier head coach Steve Tucker, referring to Memphis (2-3). “They were not all that big, but they were very quick and had some great shooters. I thought we did a good job of maintaining our poise, and we were able to get out of here with a hard-fought win over a great team.”

Six players placed in double figures for the Mavericks, led by Horton’s 22 points. Davis checked in with 21, Hagan and Josh Pace fired in 14 each, Tony Hooper poured in 11, and Anthony Jackson added 10.

Davis, who assistant coach Al Waldvogel calls “the best player in the league when he’s healthy”, turned on the afterburners in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his points in the final period. The 6-foot-7 post player from South Alabama also snagged eight rebounds to lead the team.

“I just wanted to go out there and play physical and get us a win,” said Davis, who shot 8-of-9 from from the field. “We got challenged tonight by those guys from Memphis, and I wanted to answer that challenge.”

Tucker had high praise for all of his big men after this win.

“Davis played great,” said Tucker. “I thought (Jon) Rogers came in and gave us some great minutes, and Coop (Kenneth Cooper) was active inside again. (Jermaine) Blackburn (who missed Saturday’s win over Atlanta with a sore knee) did a great job while he was in there, too.

“But I thought our guards played well also. Hagan has played great the last two nights, and (Tony) Hooper gave us some great play at both ends of the floor. And, of course, Horton played like we have grown to expect him to play. It was an overall great team win.”

Hagan dished out eight assists one night after leading the team with 13 against Atlanta. His defensive pressure helped force the Lions into 19 turnovers.

“It’s my job to keep everybody happy on the court,” said Hagan. “I don’t score as many points as those guys, because that’s not my job. If I’m doing what I’m supposed to, the other guys are getting easy baskets and we’re winning games. I’m an extension of Coach Tucker out on the court.”

Tucker, who is now 182-26 in his ABA coaching career, is pleased with where his Mavs are after six games this season.

“I told you last week that I hoped we’d be at a certain point going into the (Tip-Off Classic) tournament,” said Tucker. “I think we’re ahead of that point right now.”

Shreveport-Bossier now gears up to defend their championship in next weekend’s Tip-Off Classic at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. The Mavs welcome three top teams – the Metroplex Lightning, the Central Texas Rhythm, and the Indy Nap-Town All-Stars – to town, with two games each on Saturday, December 6, and Sunday, December 7. Tip-off times for Saturday’s games are 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., with Sunday’s start times set for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Tickets for 2014-15 Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks games are on sale now at www.sbmavs.com or at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum box office, which can be reached at (318) 631-4930.

The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks and KSLA News 12 have partnered to give you the latest Mavs news and fun giveaways right on your cell phone. All you have to do is text “Mavericks” to 81212 to get involved.

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