The Mesquite Desert Dogs of the TBL loss their first home game of the season Wednesday night February 13 losing to the San Diego Wave 103-92 before rebounding to crush the Owensboro Thoroughbreds 120-100 and the Kansas City Tornados 122-108 on Feb 16 and 17. The Dogs record now stands at 10-5 tied with the Yakima Sunkings for third place in league standings.
The Desert Dogs disappointed a large crowd on Wednesday in the loss to the Wave as they held the lead only once 2-0 before being dominated by San Diego. The Dogs minus their big man 6’8” Don Muepo could not stay with the two 7’ post men of the Wave. The Wave went up 60-42 at the break as the Dogs could not buy a basket. The second half was a different story as the Dogs behind diminutive guards 5’8” Jonathon Lloyd and Stephen McCall cut the lead to six points 75-69 after three periods but could not finish losing 103-92. Lloyd led the Dogs with 28 points followed by McCall with 20 points.
Saturday night’s blowout of the Owensboro squad was a no contest as the Dogs led 25-3 six minutes into the game and 40-19 after one period of play. Muepo made his presence known on the boards as the Dogs raced to a 64-46 lead at the break. The Dogs kept the T-Birds off stride with their tenacious defense winning easily. The Dogs controlled the boards 70-50 led by Muepo’s 15 boards. Former University of Nevada player Tyrone Criswell led the Dogs with a double-double, 27 points and 12 boards followed by Lloyd with 24 points and Muepo with 22 points. Young Dushone Brown Jr. led the reserves with 18 points.
In a rare Sunday afternoon game, the Dogs faced the first place Kansas City Tornados and did not disappoint the smaller crowd with a huge offensive display. It is said you live by the three and you die by the three, well the Tornado came out firing, hitting five straight three’s to take an early 15-5 lead. The Desert Dogs behind Lloyd’s slashing play, responded with a 20-0 run to take a 29-21 lead after one period. “I told the team after we fell behind early, that the Tornados had just played their best game and it will be all ours after that, “said point guard Lloyd. Lloyd didn’t disappoint as he led the Dogs to a 65-43 lead after one half of play. Lloyd was one assist short of a triple-triple at the half. Every time the Tornados mounted a comeback, Lloyd responded with an assist or points to keep Kansas City at bay. Cramps sidelined Lloyd for minutes in the second half but he still finished with 33 points, 13 assists and a remarkable 15 boards. Reserve guard McCall stepped in hitting 13 points to keep the Dogs rolling. Muepo finished with 22 points followed by Criswell with 21 points. The Dogs stay at home for their next three games as they host San Diego on Feb.28 and March 1 before finishing against co-leader Albany on March 9.