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Top-ranked SB Mavs run away late, defeat #2-ranked Jacksonville, 113-96

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

December 13, 2014

(Shreveport, LA.) – The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks, top-ranked in the ABA power rankings all season, faced their toughest task to date Saturday night at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum when they welcomed #2-ranked Jacksonville to town.

Like so many before, the Giants left with a loss.

The Mavericks opened the game on a 10-0 run, then closed with another after Jacksonville had pulled within seven late in the fourth to defeat the Giants 113-96 on Pink Out Night for breast cancer awareness at the Hirsch.

The victory extends the Mavericks’ professional basketball record to 69 consecutive wins overall and 74 straight at home. Shreveport-Bossier is now 9-0 on the season.

“It’s a great win, a great win,” said Mavericks head coach Steve Tucker. “Any time you beat a team of the caliber of Jacksonville, it’s huge. I thought we controlled them pretty well for three of the four quarters, and had some players play great ballgames. We’re happy, but not satisfied, and now we can go on and focus on the next challenge.”

The Mavs depth once again proved to be the biggest factor, as five players scored in double figures, led by spectacular performances from Tony Hooper, Ed Horton and P.J. Couisnard.

“I just wanted to be aggressive and do the things Coach asks of us,” said Hooper, who led Shreveport-Bossier with 18 points – including 11 in the second quarter – to go with four rebounds and four assists. “There were times in the game where we needed big shots, and I felt great out there. It’s a huge win against a great team. It sets us up for the rest of the season now.”

As good as Hooper was, Horton and Couisnard were just as efficient, if not as flashy.

Horton scored 16 points to go with five rebounds and a team-high six assists. The reigning ABA and National Championship Finals MVP was particularly effective in the second period, when the Mavs were building a double-digit lead for the first time, scoring nine points in the frame.

Couisnard, meanwhile, had 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, a team-high four steals, and was a scorching 4-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc. Couisnard, who Tucker called “one of the three best players in the ABA” after the game, scored five of his points in the last run as Shreveport-Bossier iced the game with authority.

“Coach has called on me to hit big shots before, and I’ve been fortunate to hit a lot of them,” said Couisnard, who has fought through a sore knee all season. “Last year in the finals, when I was not having my best game, I heard ‘P.J.!’ and I went in and hit the shot. Coach has a lot of faith in me, and I’m glad I can go out and do the things he asks of me.”

Jacksonville (5-1), who is the first team this season to take a lead at any point in a game against the Mavericks (16-14 with 4:20 left in the first), did everything it could to get back in the game despite being down by as many as 26 in the fourth. Guard Trey Guidry did the majority of that nearly on his own, finishing with a game-high 31 points, including 15 in the final period. His free throws with just over two minutes to play brought the Giants to within 103-96.

Then, as they’ve done so many times before, the Mavericks pulled away for another double-digit victory.

“I think we’ve got several areas we can improve on, but this was a great win for us,” said Tucker. “We’ll keep working and striving to get even better. This was a very positive step for this team this year.”

The Mavericks return to action Thursday, December 18, when they welcome the Texas Rim Rockers to Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. This weekend, December 20-21, the Mavericks will host the Montgomery Black Hawks in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets for 2014-15 Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks games are on sale now at www.sbmavs.com or at 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 smartphone. All you have to do is text “Mavericks” to 81212 to get involved

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