The Mesquite Desert Dogs did not disappoint their fans this past week as they opened up a three game lead over San Diego with a sweep of their two game series. The Desert Dogs managed this without their outstanding point guard Jonathon Loyd who moved up to play at another level in Canada. The Dogs replaced Loyd on the roster with the big body Dominic Shuler who was playing in Canada. The Dogs also added Las Vegas twin point guards A.J. and Moah Shepard to their roster for the stretch run. The Shepard’s played ball at New Mexico Highlands University.
The dogs started slow in Thursdays game, leading only 34-26 after one period before opening up their fast break offense to take a 64-50 lead at the break. The Dogs blew the game wide open in the third period taking a 100-78 lead after three periods. The Dogs poured it on in the fourth period upping their advantage to 120-83 before taking the foot off the gas. The Dogs finished off the Waves 137-106 with the Big Dogs, Don Muepo, Tyrone Chriswell and Brandon Mitchell leading the way with 33 points, 27 points and 20 points respectively. Point guard, Stephen McCall, getting his first start of the season added 18 points for the Dogs.
Friday night’s rematch with the Waves was a different story, as the Dogs seemed to have left their game in the locker room. The Wave went up on the lethargic Dogs 33-13 after one period of play and 45-22 early in the second period before the Dogs righted the ship to trail 54-40 at the break. The Waves couldn’t contain Mesquite in the third period as the Dogs up tempo play cut the Waves lead to 79-74 going into the final period. Mesquite took their first lead of the game halfway through the final period 92-89 before holding off the Waves winning 107-106. Muepo led the Dogs with 22 points followed by Maxwell with 19 points, Criswell with 17 points and the newly acquired Shuler who hit the boards for 14 points. The Dogs will get the chance to move up the standings on March 9 when they host the second place Albany Patroons.