Lake Michigan Admirals stun Kentucky Mavericks 112-104 in Midwest Division Playoff

Lake Michigan Admirals stun Kentucky Mavericks 112-104 in Midwest Division Playoff

By: D. Harris

OWENSBORO-- It’s not often that the Kentucky Mavericks have tough wire-to-wire physical games at home at the Sportscenter. Lake Michigan is one of the few teams in the PBL who have shown their ability to matchup with the Mavs and play them tight the entire game. Saturday night proved that, as the Admirals shocked the Mavericks and everyone at the Sportscenter with a 112-104 upset in the PBL Midwest Division Playoff single elimination game. Kentucky’s 100+ home game winning streak also comes crashing to a halt.

The Mavericks led 91-82 early on in the fourth, but scored just 13 points the rest of the way. The Mavs season comes to an end with a final record of 19-2.

PJ Couisnard dropped 30 points for Kentucky, while Anthony Jackson, Jon Rogers, and Corey Wilford also ended up in double figures for the Mavs. Jackson led the Mavs with six assists, and Brandon Davis collected a team-high 12 rebounds. Lake Michigan was led by Nicholas Waddell, who scored 30 points and brought in 15 rebounds.


How it happened:

It was a fast and intense pace from both teams straight from the tip-off. The Mavericks tried to establish some early momentum and crowd energy, but Lake Michigan had every answer for every punch Kentucky threw early on. Nicholas Waddell scored 13 of the Admiral’s first 21 points, as they led Kentucky 21-18.

The Admirals continued their hot shooting from across the floor as they led 29-23 late in the quarter. Lake Michigan maintained their composure shooting 60% from the field, and led the Mavericks 34-28 after the first quarter of play.

The Mavericks played much better throughout the second quarter in large part to the incredible outside shooting from PJ Couisnard. Kentucky finally took the lead back early in the quarter at 39-36 after Couisnard knocked down back-to-back long range three pointers.

Couisnard still had the hot hand from long range, and couldn’t miss, as he converted on his fifth straight triple moments later to extend the lead to 52-44, as the Mavs went on a 24-10 run. Couisnard scored 18 consecutive points for the Mavericks.

The Mavs led by two at the half at 60-58, but Lake Michigan ended the quarter on a 14-8 run. Couisnard guided the Mavericks and led all scorers at the break with 21 points on 6-10 shooting from the field.

In the second half, it was another back and forth game. Despite the Mavs quality offensive sets which led to easy points, Lake Michigan kept pace trailing by just five halfway through the quarter.

The physical play continued, and there were several fouls called on both sides in the quarter, so both squads went to the line for multiple free throw opportunities. A big three from Corey Wilford in the corner put the Mavericks ahead by double digits at 86-75. Once again, the Admirals wouldn’t let Kentucky pull away and trailed only 88-82 heading into the fourth.

In the fourth, Corey Wilford came up big again with another three pointer to put the Mavs up nine. Lake Michigan’s 13-6 run game them the slim advantage at 95-94 with seven minutes to play. Jon Rogers scored four straight points to give Kentucky the lead back, and had the crowd getting rowdy.

Lake Michigan answered right back with five straight points for a 102-98 lead with three minutes left. The Mavericks began to force things on offense, and looked timid around the rim. Kentucky went cold for three minutes without a field goal. Waddell had a huge bucket down low to put the Admirals up six at 106-100 with 90 seconds to play. The Admirals continued put pressure on the Mavericks on both sides of the ball, and for the first time at home this season, Kentucky was unable to respond in the final minutes of the game.


What’s next?

With the loss, the Mavericks’ season comes to a close.

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