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SB Mavs pass physical test, hold off DFW Stars 113-85

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

Sunday, February 22nd

(Shreveport, LA.) – One day after dismantling the Metroplex Lightning for head coach Steve Tucker’s 200th career ABA win, the top-ranked and defending ABA champion Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks got a tough test from a physical, well-coached DFW Stars team.

Once again, the Mavericks passed the test.

Despite playing without MVP candidate Josh Pace, who missed the game with strep throat, Shreveport-Bossier stepped up in the fourth quarter and defeated DFW 113-85 Sunday afternoon at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

The victory gives the Mavericks (25-0) a professional basketball record 85-game win streak, just three shy of the 88-game run that legendary coach John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins had in the 1960s. Shreveport-Bossier has also won 86 consecutive games at home, including a flawless 47-0 record at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. The Mavs are 59-0 since moving to Shreveport-Bossier from Southeast Texas in 2013, with its last loss coming in December of 2010.

“Tests usually come when you least expect it,” said Tucker after his ABA-record 201st career league win. “We played these guys twice last year and beat them by 14 once and 16 once. The difference this year is we’re a more athletic team. They played their tails off today, but we found a way to win the ballgame. They’re a well-coached, passionate team, and they came at us hard, but we regained our composure after that third quarter and finished the game really well. Games like this only benefit the team. We’ll get better because of it.”

For the first time all season, Shreveport-Bossier was outrebounded as DFW (3-2) held a 49-43 advantage on the boards. The physical inside play of Stars big men Aaron McCune (20 points, eight rebounds) and Dwayne Soders (nine rebounds) keyed a big third quarter for DFW that pulled the team to within 11 points of the lead.

P.J Couisnard and Brandon Davis responded in kind in the fourth, combining for 15 points in the quarter as the Mavericks resumed control.

Without Pace in the lineup, Couisnard, starting his second game at point guard, took the leadership role and responded with a game-high 23 points, five rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots, and two steals in one of the more impressive all-around performances of the season.

“It was all about being aggressive,” said Couisnard. “With Josh not in their, Coach T told me I needed to have an MVP-type performance. You know, when our real MVP goes down, I’ve got to pick up some of his role. They are a really good team over there, and that brings out the best in you.”

Davis echoed Couisnard’s thoughts about DFW, calling them the most physical team the Mavericks have played all season.

“This was a grinder type game,” said Davis, who scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and hauled in a team-high nine rebounds. “They’re as tough as anybody we’ve played, and they did a lot of good things out there, but in the end, we found a way to get it done.”

Tucker was proud of his team’s resilience in overcoming both the Stars and the absence of Pace.

“Pace does all the little things,” said Tucker. “When we’ve been down or had runs against us, he always does something – a steal, a big bucket, an assist, something – that stops it and gets us back going. We had a lot of guys today that did those little things.”

Tucker also singled out the play of guard Tyrone Hamilton, who has gotten increased playing time of late and responded well. Hamilton scored eight points on 3-of-3 shooting and ran the offense efficiently.

“I thought Hamilton played really well today,” said Tucker. “He made some really good plays for us, and his decision-making has improved. Really pleased to see that from him.”

Other notables for Shreveport-Bossier were Jon Rogers, who scored 15 points with six rebounds and played his usual phenomenal defensive game; and Anthony Jackson, who fired in 11 points and led the Mavs with seven assists and three steals.

Shreveport-Bossier returns to action next Saturday, February 28, when it will face the Texas RimRockers at 7 p.m. at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. The Mavericks beat the RimRockers on December 18, 130-88, and again on January 4, 145-88.

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.

Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks Basketball

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