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SB Mavs win Mid-Season Classic Cup with convincing win over #10 Providence

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

Sunday, February 8th

(Shreveport, LA.) – The top-ranked and defending ABA champion Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks completed a weekend sweep of #10-ranked Providence Sunday, using their depth and conditioning to defeat the Sky Chiefs 130-77 and take the Mavericks Mid-Season Classic Cup at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

The Mavericks (21-0) now hold a professional basketball record 81-game win streak and have won 84 straight at home. Since moving to Shreveport-Bossier in 2013, the Mavericks are 55-0 overall and 45-0 at Hirsch.

Point guard Anthony Jackson, who led a potent Shreveport-Bossier offense in both games over the weekend, was named Most Valuable Player of the Classic, finishing with 14 points, six assists, and five steals Sunday after scoring 21 points with eight assists and four steals in Saturday’s victory.

“I’m real comfortable right now leading our offense on the court,” said Jackson, who took over as starting point guard in January. “I’m seeing the floor well, and it helps to have a team like this that is so deep. I know I can score at any time, but I feel like I’m doing a better job of keeping the other guys involved now.”

Mavericks head coach Steve Tucker was obviously pleased with the play of his point guard, but also had positive words for his entire squad.

“The way Jack played this weekend was outstanding,” said Tucker after his ABA-record 197th league victory. “He ran the offense exceptionally well and deserved to win the MVP of the tournament. But it’s like I told the guys after the game, all of them are MVPs for this team.”

The Mavericks held a 20-point lead at halftime, but a 36-3 run to start the second half sealed the fortune of the upstart Sky Chiefs (12-6), who are competing in their inaugural ABA season.

“Those guys are going to be a good team for a long time,” said Tucker. “They gave us a great game Saturday, but we were able to make some adjustments after that game, and then again at halftime (Sunday). We were more prepared today.”

The biggest adjustment, according to Tucker, came at halftime after Providence went to a zone defense late in the first half.

“They showed their ace card too quick,” said Tucker. “They went to that zone to end the second quarter and we were able to get a good look at it going into halftime. We went to the locker room and made our adjustments, and I think that showed up big in the third quarter.”

Another key component to the Mavs’ success Sunday was the play of the frontcourt. MVP candidate and power forward Brandon Davis led all players with 13 rebounds to go with eight points, while center Jon Rogers had seven boards and three emphatic blocked shots.

“My game is predicated on consistency,” said Davis. “Sometimes things get going offensively because of the matchups, but regardless of who we’re facing, I can always rebound and play defense. Jon and I work really well together and we help each other in the post, but our backup guys are just as good when they’re on the court.”

Tucker agreed with Davis’ assessment of the depth and high level of play of his big men.

“I think this was the best weekend that Ike (Chad Eichelberger) has had as a Maverick,” said Tucker. “(Alex) Sanders played great Saturday. I thought Coop (Kenneth Cooper) had a great game for us today. If our backup big men play this way consistently, we’re going to be real tough to beat.”

In all, six Mavericks scored in double figures, and nine players had eight points or more. Every player on the Mavs roster had at least one field goal in the contest.

Once again, the Mavs’ “Silent Assassin”, Josh Pace, led the team in points with 17 (on 7-of-9 shooting) while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing three assists. Other notables for Shreveport-Bossier were Currye Todd, who scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter on 6-of-8 shooting; P.J. Couisnard, who scored 16 points despite playing with an illness; Jermaine Blackburn with 14 points, three boards and three assists; Cooper with 12 points and eight rebounds; and Mike Crain with nine points and six rebounds.

The Mavericks embark on a two-game road trip next weekend as Shreveport-Bossier visits Memphis on Friday, February 13, then travels on to #6-ranked Bowling Green on Sunday, February 15.

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 Mavs beat Memphis 125-88 on November 30, and toppled Bowling Green 127-83 on January 10.

Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks Basketball

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