Desert Dogs split series with RazorSharks

Desert Dog A.J. Gaines leaps over RazorShark Matt Hart for two of his 23 points during the Dogs loss to Rochester 109-98. Gaines had 53 points for his weekends work.
Photo by Lou Martin

The Nevada Desert Dogs attempt to sweep the Rochester RazorSharks Saturday night failed in the second half of play. The Dogs defeated the Rochester squad 115-107 Friday night behind the two newest members A.J. Gaines and Jalan Kendrick. Gaines had 30 points and Kendrick finished with 27 points. Point guard Jonathon Lloyd added 18 points in the win. The Desert Dogs led 52-51 after one half of play. Gaines led the Dogs with 22 points at the break. The Dogs lost their touch in the third period falling behind the RazorSharks 84-77. The Dogs offense stepped up in the last period when needed to get the win 115-107. Kendrick had the hot hand putting down 16 points in the period. The Dogs free throw shooting improved remarkably in the period as the Dogs made 14 of 15 from the line. The RazorSharks were led by former George Washington grad Matt Hart who finished with 31 points.

The teams began Saturday’s game slowly as neither team seemed to want to set the offensive pace. Five minutes into the first period the score stood at 9-7 in favor of the Dogs. Gaines had 5 points early. The Dogs trailed 19-21 with 1:34 remaining on the first period clock. Coach ‘MO’ brought power forward Dominic Shuler back into the fray sparking the Dogs with his leaping ability and 6 points on put backs. The Dogs ended the period trailing 26-23. Poor shooting hampered the Dogs for most of the period. The Dogs came to life in the second period putting up 38 points, 17 in a matter of three minutes, to take a 61-45 advantage into the break. Gaines led the Dogs run with 11 points, 14 for the half. Schuler chipped in 12 points for the Dogs. Sharp shooter Hart led Rochester with 19 points.

The second half was all RazorSharks as the Dogs seemed to leave their shooting in the locker room. The Sharks behind 12 points from Hart outscored the Dogs 37-15 in the third period. The RazorSharks took a 76-74 lead and led 82-76 after three quarters of play. The Dogs had one last gasp as Gaines hit Kendrick for a huge dunk which brought out a large vocal response from the home squad. Kendrick added a short jumper in the paint to bring the Dogs within two points 88-90. But every time the Dogs attempted to rally, Hart would drain a three ball to set the Dogs back on their Heels. The RazorSharks finished off the Dogs down the stretch winning 109-98. The Dogs big guns Kendrick and Gaines led the Dogs with 26 and 23 points respectively. Hart was again the game’s high scorer with 38 points and in the opinion of this writer is a rare pure shooter. The Dogs travel next week before returning on March 1 and 2 to face league leading Albany. The Patroons have only lost one game so far this season. The Desert Dogs record now stands at 5-7.

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