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SB Mavs scorch Texas RimRockers 132-56 with dynamic defensive performance

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

Sunday, March 1st

(Shreveport, LA.) – The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks put on a defensive clinic Sunday afternoon at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, holding Texas to 29.6% shooting and forcing 23 turnovers in a 132-56 drubbing of the RimRockers.

Shreveport-Bossier (27-0) has now won a pro basketball record 87 consecutive games, just one victory away from the NCAA Division I men’s record of 88 straight held by the UCLA Bruins teams coached by the legendary John Wooden. Since moving to Shreveport-Bossier in 2013, the Mavericks are 61-0, including a flawless 49-0 mark at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

“Defense is our calling card,” said Mavs head coach Steve Tucker. “I saw when we got to training camp this season, these guys were really special defensively. I think that is a product of our core of players having been together so long and the way we teach and execute fundamentals. We’re able to take teams completely out of what they want to do. Few teams I’ve seen in 30 years of coaching can defend like this one.”

The Mavericks held the RimRockers (12-4) to 12 points in the first quarter, and shot a nearly-unfathomable 69.4% from the floor in the first half.

“We take pride in what we can do defensively, and so much of that leads to our offensive success,” said Mavs guard Mike Crain, who scored a game-high 18 points with four assists and three steals. “The only way you can shoot a high percentage like that is to get a lot of easy transition baskets, and our defense creates those.”

Once again, Tucker had high praise for his team’s ball movement, leading to 29 team assists. In comparison, Texas had just five dishes as a team. The head coach again lauded the play of his point guards – P.J. Cousinard (12 points in 12 minutes), Anthony “A-Train” Jackson (10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals), and Shreveport-native and former Booker T. Washington High star Ty Hamilton (seven points, team-high eight assists).

“So much of what we do in the offensive set revolves around sharing the ball and making the pass to the open man,” said Hamilton, who played his college ball at Centenary. “We’ve got a lot of good passers on this team, and a lot of good shooters that can finish when the pass is made. We leave our egos at the door. I don’t care who makes the basket as long as it goes in.”

Other notable performances from Saturday’s game – “The Silent Assassin” Josh Pace with 16 points, six boards and two steals; Jermaine Blackburn with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, four rebounds, four assists and two steals; Jonathan Phelps, who scored in double figures for the third time in four games with the Mavs, with 11 points; Currye Todd, fresh off a 22-point game Saturday, with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds; and Chad Eichelberger with nine points and seven boards. The Twin Towers – Jon Rogers and Brandon Davis – had a fairly light night by their standards, combining for 13 points and 10 rebounds, but their defensive presence was again a factor.

The Mavs now turn their attention to a final home game next Saturday, March 7, when they will host an all-star team of Dallas-area players that includes former NBA and D-League members.

“Next week is going to be a real test for us to keep focused on what our objective is,” said Tucker. “It’s time for us to go out and do what we’ve prepared all season to do.”

Next Saturday’s tip-off time is 7 p.m., and all fans will be admitted free of charge for the Mavericks’ last home game before the ABA National Championship Finals, which begin April 7 at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

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.

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