After blowing out the Albany Patroons Thursday night, 136-105, the Nevada Desert Dogs rallied late Friday night but fell to the New York team, 111-110.
The Patroons came out strong in Thursday night’s game taking a 34-29 lead after one period of play. Desert Dog Dominic Schuler kept the Dogs in the game with 12 points early.
The Patroons knocked down six three-balls led by Eddie Ubilies. The Dogs regrouped behind A.J. Gaines, Jamal Peterson and Terrell Evans to take a 66-61 lead at the break. Peterson hit three three-balls and Gaines brought down the house with three massive dunks.
Evans, traded from Vancouver last week, made his presence known with 8 points coming off the bench.
The Desert Dogs hot hand switched to Jalan Kendrick in the third period, as Kendrick scored 11 points followed by Schuler with 10 points. The Dogs opened up a 106-94 lead after three periods.
The Dogs opened the fourth period with a 20-5 run to take a 126-99 lead late in the period.
Three straight time outs by the Patroons did little to stop the run as the Dogs crisp passing and strong defense led to numerous layups and Gaines dunks. The local crowd roared with approval on every shot.
The Dogs wore down Albany and won easily 136-105. Schuler led the Dogs with 32 points followed by Kendrick with 27 points and Gaines with 24 points. Also scoring in double figures were Peterson and Evans with 16 points each and diminutive point guard Anthony Lloyd with 12 points.
It was the Dogs most productive game of the season. Sharp shooting Ubilies led the Patroons with 33 points.
Friday night’s rematch found the Dogs down 26-23 after one period in a sloppy game on both sides. Johnathon Lloyd had the hot hand with 9 points in the first period. The Patroons continued to lead at the break 51-48. Lloyd led the Dogs with 17 points.
Poor shooting and turnovers plagued the Dogs in the third period as the Patroons Urbilies put up 13 points to give Albany an 84-74 advantage going into the final period. The Dogs seemed to fall apart to begin the final period as the Patroons poured it on to lead 97-78 with a little over 8 minutes remaining in the game.
Desert Dog coach Paul Mokeski called time out to settle his team down. The break worked as Gaines and Kendrick took turns taking it to the basket to bring the Dogs within six points 109-103 with 1:30 remaining on the clock.
The home crowd went wild as the Dogs trailed 111-107 with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game. Leon Sutton hit a free throw and the second shot was tipped in to cut the lead to 111-110 with 9 seconds on the clock.
The Dogs smothered the Patroons inbound play but Albany held on for the win. Lloyd led Nevada with 27 points followed by Gaines with 22 points. Urbilies, led the Patroons with 27 points. The Dogs host the Ohio Cardinals in a two-game series beginning Friday night March 9.
The Cardinals sit in second place with a 10-5 record compared to the Dogs 4-8 which as this week’s games proved, anyone can win.