Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Herd defeats Bulls in final regular season game

Katie Pulvermacher / Advance-Titan — The Herd’s Stephen Thompson drives to the basket in a game earlier this season at the Oshkosh Arena.

The Wisconsin Herd took down the Windy City Bulls 108-105 to close out the 2023-24 NBA G League regular season March 30 at the Now Arena.

With the win, the Herd (17-17) ended the season seventh in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Delaware Blue Coats for the final playoff spot.

Wisconsin ended February in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but the Herd went 1-5 to begin the final month of the season. Wisconsin’s 125-111 victory over the Capital City Go-Go March 20 sparked a three-game winning streak, but the Herd were eliminated from playoff contention after falling to the Bulls on the road 127-103 March 29.

In the final game of the season against the Bulls, the Herd’s Glenn Robinson III and Stephen Thompson both scored 29 points to lead the team. Robinson went 5-for-9 from behind the arc and grabbed nine rebounds. Thompson finished the game 8-for-19 from the field, grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists. Chris Livingston added 20 points and eight rebounds while Aleem Ford scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Wisconsin, which had only eight players take the court, shot 44.6% from the field and 39.5% from 3-point range in the win. The Herd outrebounded the Bulls 49-47 and had more blocked shots (6-4), but Wisconsin turned the ball over 18 times.

Windy City’s Jalen Harris had the first 50-point game in the history of the franchise, going 21-31 from the field and grabbing 12 rebounds along the way. Adama Sanogo scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Henri Drell added 16 points and eight rebounds.

As a team, the Bulls shot 43.8% from the field and 21.9% from behind the arc.

Harris scored the first two baskets of the game to give the Bulls an early 4-0 lead, but the Herd responded with a 9-2 run after a 3-pointer from Ford to take a 9-6 advantage. Windy City pulled to within a point, but Wisconsin went on another 9-2 run after a 3-pointer from Thompson to claim an 18-10 lead. Harris responded with a 3-pointer with under six minutes to play in the first quarter, and the Bulls embarked on a 12-3 run to take a 22-21 lead. Ford converted on a layup as the Herd retook the lead, but Windy City scored the final four points of the period to lead 28-26 at the end of the first quarter.

Sanogo began the second quarter with a layup to give the Bulls a four-point lead, and a 13-4 run midway through the quarter gave Windy City a 43-33 advantage. The Bulls held onto a comfortable lead for most of the second period until Robinson sank a cutting layup and the Herd ended the quarter on a 9-4 run to cut the deficit to 59-55 at halftime.

Thompson connected on a layup to bring Wisconsin to within two points at the beginning of the third quarter. The two teams traded baskets for most of the period until a Robinson turnaround fadeaway jumper kickstarted a 9-2 run that gave the Herd a 73-69 lead. With five minutes to go in the third quarter, Drell converted on a finger-roll layup and the Bulls went on an 8-0 run to retake the lead. Wisconsin ended the quarter on an 6-0 run to tie the game at 79 at the break.

Both teams swapped baskets to begin the final quarter, but the Bulls took a 98-94 lead after a putback layup from Sanogo sparked a quick 6-0 run. Windy City held onto a narrow advantage until Robinson knocked down a 3-pointer and Livingston converted on a layup to give the Herd a 106-105 lead with 30 seconds to play. Thompson hit a pair of free throws down the stretch as Wisconsin held on for a three-point victory.

The Herd announced plans on Instagram to return to Oshkosh for their seventh season in the fall, but Wisconsin’s home stadium, the Oshkosh Arena, is for sale.

According to LoopNet, a commercial real estate marketplace, Fox Valley Pro Basketball is selling the arena five years after the group filed for bankruptcy in 2019. The Oshkosh Arena, which was briefly shut down last summer for violations relating to fire codes, has hosted the Herd since its opening in 2017. Wisconsin has the stadium, which is being managed by the Oak View Group, leased until 2026 and can be extended until 2028.

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