Herd improves to 3-3 after win over Motor City


Jacob Link / the Advance-Titan — Wisconsin Herd’s Lindell Wigginton lays the ball in during Tuesday’s 137-112 win against the Motor City Cruise.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

Lindell Wigginton scored 24 points as the Wisconsin Herd defeated the Motor City Cruise 137-112 last night at the Oshkosh Arena to improve to 3-3 on the year.

Wisconsin turned on the defense in the second half, forcing six turnovers and holding the Cruise to just 36% shooting in the third quarter. The Herd’s offense caught fire in the third quarter, outscoring Motor City 42-25 and shooting 61% from the floor behind a 10-point quarter from forward Elijah Hughes.

The strong defense continued in the fourth quarter with Motor City shooting just 39% and being outscored 32-25 in the final 12 minutes as the Herd went on to take the victory.

Wigginton said it feels good to know the coaches will let him play tough defense.

“Picking up full court press, that’s what I do and how I bring energy into the team,” he said. “I try and do that each and every night and I think that gets me going on the offensive end as well.”

The Cruise jumped out to an eight-point lead after the first quarter, but Wisconsin went on a run to end the half, taking a 63-62 lead going into the break.

Motor City’s Stanley Umude and Buddy Boeheim, the son of basketball hall of fame coach Jim Boeheim, shot over 50% from the three-point line in the first half and both ended the period with 17 points each. The Herd’s bench kept them in the game during the first half, outscoring the Motor City bench 33-24 in the first 24 minutes.

Herd head coach Chaisson Allen said the team played so well because the ball was moving.

“It helps when shots are going in at the offensive end and guys are making the hockey assists,” he said. “We shared the ball, and it started on the defensive end where we were able to play with pace, get some stops and get out fast going the other way.”

The Cruise’s Ryan Turell made history last night as the first Orthodox Jewish player in G League history to record a point when he made a jump shot from the elbow in the second quarter.

Wigginton finished the game with 24 points and six assists for the Herd while Hughes finished the game with 22 points and six rebounds. Two-way player Sandro Mamukelashvili added a double-double off the bench, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Allen said he likes having Wigginton and Mamukelashvili come off the bench because of the chemistry the two have built after playing together last season on the Herd.

“We can tell there’s chemistry there in the pick and roll action and seeing each other out in transition,” he said. “They read the game well and they know how to play with each other which helps that second unit tremendously.”

Wigginton said he thought the team was able to get out in transition more than in previous games.

“I think that’s the ability of our team, to get out in transition, and I think we need to do that more,” he said. “I think in our last game we were too slow, so this game we got out in transition and guys were moving the ball and finding each other.”

Saturday night, the Herd took down the Cruise 135-133 in overtime behind a 30-point performance from Jontay Porter at the Oshkosh Arena.

Wisconsin found themselves up 105-91 after the third quarter before Motor City outscored the Herd 37-23 in the final 12 minutes to force overtime.

New this year, the NBA G League implemented a target score of seven points to decide overtime games. In overtime, the teams traded three pointers before Wigginton put the Herd ahead 132-131 after covering a free throw. The Cruise answered back with a layup before Jordan Bone tied the contest with a free throw. Bone hit another shot from the charity stripe after a hard foul to send Wisconsin to the target score, ending the game.

Bone and Wigginton finished the game with 16 points each while Mamukelashvili added another 14 points off the bench. Boeheim led Motor City with 25 points and 10 rebounds on 7-14 shooting from beyond the arc.

Allen said Bone is a point guard who has a lot of poise in his ability to spread the ball around.

“That’s big for us because we have shooters and guys that can do different stuff on the offensive end and they trust him to help the team get in those offensive positions,” Allen said.

“We have a really competitive group,” Wigginton said. “We have guys that can really shoot the ball and space the floor out for guys like me that want to go downhill into the paint.”

The Herd will look to increase their win streak to three games when they take on the Cruise tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Wayne State Fieldhouse.