INTERNATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE Dayton hands Wildcats first defeat
Mahoning Valley committed 30 turnovers in the 127-109 loss.
STRUTHERS -- Place the blame on being sluggish after a big win the previous night.
In a game of missed opportunities by both teams, the Mahoning Valley Wildcats' subpar effort might even be blamed on their inability to adjust to the referees and certain game situations.
Whichever way one looks at it, the Dayton Jets were well rested after an eight-day lay-off and that translated into a 127-109 victory over the Wildcats in an International Basketball League game Saturday night at the Struthers Fieldhouse.
"They were more physical than us tonight," Wildcat coach Rob Spon said. "The referees let us play and we didn't adjust to them," he added. "We're a good team and we'll learn to do that. Their guards were very physical and when you factor in our turnovers, those two factors played as much a part in the outcome of the game as any."
Too many turnovers
The Wildcats committed 30 turnovers to the Jets' 16, but the opportunistic Jets came away with 43 points off those Mahoning Valley miscues. The Wildcats on the other hand could manage just 19 points off of Dayton's mistakes.
The game was delayed for 26 minutes when the Jets' bus was caught in traffic on the way to the game. The delay, however, didn't seem to affect their play as they improved to 2-0 while the Wildcats fell for the first time in four outings this season.
The Jets had their way with the Wildcats early in the game as they never trailed in the first quarter en-route to a 28-24 advantage.
They increased their lead to 41-30 on a Ramod Marshall bucket at the 8:47 mark of the second quarter. The Wildcats then went on an 11-2 run to cut the margin to 43-41 at the 4:12 mark.
Wildcats led at intermission
A Shaun Fountain bucket at the 2:15 made it 51-44 in favor of the Jets, but Rick McFadden's five points sparked a 10-2 run to end the quarter to give the Wildcats a 54-53 lead at intermission.
"We were off all night from beyond the arc, but [Rick] McFadden time and again kept us in the game with his 3-point buckets," Spon said.
The Jets built an 84-76 lead on an Adrian Parks bucket at the 1:30 mark after intermission, but the Wildcats' Geoff Evans scored five points in a 15 second stretch to allow Mahoning Valley to close to within one, 84-83 heading into the final period.
Fountain then scored eight of his 10 points in the final period to ignite a 33-point Jet outburst en route to their 18-point margin of victory.
Dayton better shooters
Dayton made 46-of-99 field goal attempts and 17-of-43 shots from beyond the arc while the Wildcats were held to 38-of-94 from the field, managing just 7-of-29 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats held a 68-47 rebounding edge with McFadden and Joe Lewandowski hauling in 11 caroms apiece to lead Mahoning Valley. Lawrence Culver also had nine rebounds for the Wildcats while Brooks Hall of the Jets hauled in a game-high 13 caroms.