The Grand Rapids Drive (25-20) won their second straight game over an opponent ahead of them in the G-League standings by beating the Erie BayHawks (26-21) at the DeltaPlex Arena in Walker, Michigan.
— Grand Rapids Drive (@grdrive) March 16, 2018
The Drive jumped out of the gate fast to get an 11-2 lead in the opening moments of the game. The BayHawks would turn up their defense at that point though and Grand Rapids started playing sloppily which resulted in a large number of turnovers, 4 straight possessions at one point. Before long the Drive’s lead was cut to 17-14 and from then on it was a close game until the closing moments.
As the game went back and forth, the BayHawks nearly pushed a lead into double digits in the middle of the third quarter before the Drive bench stabilized the game and with a pair of Bronson Koenig three’s to open up the fourth quarter they opened up an 82-72 lead in the fourth, a lead they would not give up.
The BayHawks cut the lead down several different times, but the Drive consistently had answered all the way down the stretch until Kay Felder put the game away with repeated buckets.
The Drive got a very balanced scoring night from the team. Felder led the way with 19, Derek Willis and Landry Nnoko both had 17, KJ McDaniels had 16, Reggie Hearn had 15, and Bronson Koenig finished with 14 to give the Drive six players scoring in double digits. Felder also added eight assists and both Nnoko and Willis achieved a double-double with rebounds, 14 and 10 respectively.
The BayHawks were largely led by Jeremy Evans who scored 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, six of which were offensive. His jumping ability gave the Drive problems the entire night while the rest of the BayHawks struggled.
The schedule does not get any easier for Grand Rapids, as they get one day off before hosting the Eastern Conference-leading Westchester Knicks (30-16) at the DeltaPlex.
- Newly minted minority owner Ben Wallace was in attendance tonight for the Drive victory.
- Kay Felder has been very comfortable in the Reggie Jackson role of staying within the offense and conserving energy most of the game before unloading on a tired defense in the clutch.
- The two sides of the aggressive defensive style Erie plays were on display in this game. They generated lots of turnovers and points off of them (the BayHawks score more of their points off of turnovers than any other team in the G-League) but they also allowed the drive to shoot 45% from deep on the night. Make or break.