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Kentucky Mavericks win 100th straight home game with 116-92 win over Grand Rapids Cyclones

(Owensboro, KY) No team at any level of basketball has ever won 100 straight consecutive home games until Thursday evening at the Owensboro Sportscenter. The Kentucky Mavericks (14-1) picked up their 100th straight home victory with a 116-92 win over the Grand Rapids Cyclones. The Mavs defeated the Cyclones by 49 in the first meeting, and this time it took a much stronger effort from the Mavericks. Kentucky out-scored Grand Rapids 37-17 in the fourth, to blow the game open late.

How it happened

Coming into the game the Mavs had played three straight road games. Early on, the Mavs came out flat. Grand Rapids on the other hand, brought their A game.  It was the home debut for Rafael Johnson, and the season debut for newcomer Corey Wilford.

The Cyclones led for first six minutes of the first quarter with an early 6-1 advantage straight out of the gate. Ralph Monday was scoring in bunches for the Cyclones. He scored eight points in the quarter. The Mavs first lead came at 13-12, as they were able to extend lead to 17-12.

However, the lead would quickly fade, as Grand Rapids would go on a 9-0 run to lead 21-17. Overall, it was a sloppy first quarter on both sides of the ball for Kentucky, as they committed five turnovers, but the game was tied at 24 apiece after the first.

Grand Rapids continued to play relentlessly into the second quarter. The Cyclones knocked down back-to-back triples to open up the lead again at 32-26. The Mavs would answer right back with consecutive three’s from PJ Couisnard and Mike Crain. Both teams continued to trade baskets, but the Mavs defense turned up their intensity in the last half of the quarter.

Anthony Jackson’s three from the wing opened up the Mavs largest lead at that point to 52-43. Grand Rapids would stay within striking distance at the half, with the Mavs ahead 55-49 at the break. Jackson and Couisnard were the only Mavericks players in double figures at halftime. Jackson led Kentucky with 15, and Couisnard had 10.

Both offenses were struggling once the second half began. Grand Rapids consistently knocked down long range shots well beyond the three point line, while the Mavericks found their offense in the third quarter down low in the paint, and at the free throw line. The Cyclones just wouldn’t go away, as the lead remained tight. Brandon Davis scored two straight baskets down low to put the Mavs up three late in the quarter. Kentucky lead 79-75 heading into the fourth.

The Cyclones had connected on 11 made three point field goals in the contest. In the fourth, Grand Rapids continued to put pressure on the Mavericks.

Brandon Davis was a dominate force down low on both ends for the Mavs, as he kept Kentucky ahead early into the fourth at 84-81. Corey Wilford gave the Mavericks a critical three pointer to put the Mavs ahead by six.

The Mavericks eventually took control of the game with solid defense, which led to an 8-0 run to open up the game. Grand Rapids began to cool down finally from long range, and the Sportscenter went nuts after a Brandon Davis put-back slam dunk to make it 99-85 off. PJ Couisnard knocked down two three’s moments later to put the Mavs ahead 107-86, as the game was well in hand. The Mavs would out-score Grand Rapids 37-17 in the fourth.

Brandon Davis finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds, while PJ Couisnard recorded 24 points. Anthony Jackson dropped 22, and newcomer Corey Wilford collected 12 points.

As a team, Kentucky knocked down eight three pointers, and finished 20-29 from the free throw line. They also forced Grand Rapids into committing 17 turnovers.

What’s next?

The Mavericks will be back in action on Sunday at the Sportscenter against the Danville Riverhawks. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

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