The short- handed Albany Patroons held off every charge by the hometown Mesquite Desert Dogs Friday night to win a lethargic game 117-110. The Patroons traveling squad was reduced by two of their star players, called up to the Canadian League a few days before traveling to Mesquite. The Desert Dogs could not defend the three-ball as Albany shot a torrid 44.4% (16-36) beyond the arc to keep the Dogs at bay. Meanwhile, the Dogs shot a miserable 20.6% (7-34) which was the difference in the game. The Dogs led 29-27 after one period of play but fell behind 67-62 at the break. Forward Brandon Mitchell kept the Dogs in the game with some timely shooting. The Dogs, behind a hot hand from guard Tyrone Criswell, raced to a 87-84 lead after three periods but could not hold on as the Patroons continued to strike from long range. The Dogs had their last lead, 106-105 before falling 119-110. The Dogs managed only two points in the last four minutes of the game as the lack of guard play hampered the Dogs offense. There was no question that point guard Jonathon Loyd’s absence, Loyd moved up to the Canadian League, was a big difference in the end results. Criswell finished with 25 points, all in three periods, followed by Mitchell with 21 points. The Desert Dogs record fell to 12-6 good enough for third place in the league standings. The Dogs will try to regroup with two games in San Diego before returning home to face Tampa Bay on March 23.
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