Herd continue three-game skid with loss to Motor City


Jacob Link / Advance-Titan — The Herd’s Rob Edwards drives to the basket in Wisconsin’s 127-118 victory over the Knicks Jan. 18.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The Wisconsin Herd lost their third straight game Jan. 25, falling to the Motor City Cruise 120-102 at the Wayne State Fieldhouse.

The Herd (4-7) started the second half on a 12-6 run that narrowed the Cruise lead to one point. Motor City (4-8) responded with a 3-pointer from Keifer Sykes and a Jaime Echenique fadeaway jumper increased the Cruise lead to 10 points with three minutes to go in the quarter. A jumper from the Herd’s Jordan Bone jump started a 13-5 run that narrowed the Cruise lead to one point once again. Wisconsin’s Iverson Molinar tied the game at 83 to end the third quarter when he drove through the lane and converted on a layup with 30 seconds remaining.

After a dunk from Motor City’s Stanley Umude, Bone drove down the court and hit a 3-pointer to give the Herd a one-point lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter. The teams traded baskets before Ryan Turell knocked down a 3-pointer that gave the Cruise the lead for good. Motor city went on a 21-7 run midway through the final quarter to give them a comfortable 10-point lead. The Herd went cold at the wrong time in the game, scoring only six points in the final five minutes, and Motor City cruised to a comfortable 18-point victory.

The first quarter was mostly back and forth, featuring three lead changes and four ties in the first five minutes of the contest. With just under five minutes to go in the period, the Cruise went on a 19-6 run to end the quarter capped off by a Turell 3-pointer and the Herd found themselves down 34-24 at the break.

Motor City opened the second quarter scoring six straight points to increase their lead to 16 points. The Herd found their rhythm midway through the second period, embarking on a 21-4 run to recapture the lead behind 10 points in three minutes from Rob Edwards. Wisconsin’s one point lead wouldn’t last long, with the Cruise’s Buddy Boeheim knocking down a 3-pointer on the next possession. Motor City maintained their lead through the end of the quarter, going into halftime leading 58-51.

Bone and Edwards led the Herd in scoring, each putting up 22 points and five rebounds. Off the bench, Randolph nearly had a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven boards. Elijah Hughes added 17 points while Molinar was the only other Herd in double figures, scoring 10 points.

For Motor City, Umude had a game-high 25 points off the bench and guard David Nwaba added 23 points. Two Cruise players had double-doubles with center Devontae Cacok scoring 18 points and 14 rebounds while guard Keifer Sykes had 12 points and dished out 10 assists.

The Herd, who sit 11th in the Eastern Conference, will be back in action Jan. 27 to take on the Greensboro Swarm (2-8) at the Oshkosh Arena at 7 p.m.

The Cruise defeated the Herd for the first time this season in overtime 134-130 Jan. 23 at the Wayne State Fieldhouse. The Herd led 33-32 after the first quarter but the Cruise took the lead and Motor City built a nine point advantage in the second quarter. Hughes hit a crucial 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining to narrow the lead to 70-64 at halftime.

Wisconsin’s 3-point shooting proved to be the difference in the third quarter and the Herd outscored the Cruise 29-24 in the period to find themselves down just two points entering the final 12 minutes. The two teams traded baskets for most of the fourth quarter and the Cruise led 127-125 with seven seconds to go. After a missed Cruise free throw, Wisconsin’s Paris Bass grabbed the rebound and gave it to Lindell Wigginton, who drove down the court and drew a foul with just two seconds remaining. Wigginton converted both free throws to send the game into overtime tied at 127. The Herd shot just 1-for-4 in the overtime period as the Cruise reached the target score of 134 to secure the victory.

New to the NBA G League this season is the addition of a target score of seven points to decide overtime games.

Sandro Mamukelashvili had a game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds for the Herd while Nwaba was the leading scorer for Motor City with 26 points.

On Jan. 21, the Herd fell 135-126 to Raptors 905 at the Oshkosh Arena. The Raptors (6-4) shot 60% from the field in the game and built a 77-55 lead at halftime before cruising to victory. Bone was four rebounds short of a triple-double, finishing with 28 points, 14 assists and 6 rebounds.