Cruise Complete Sweep of Westchester
Motor City came into this one sitting just a half-game out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. They would be down a couple of players in this one, so it would be no easy feat as they looked to stay in contention for the final spot.
New Night, Same Urgency
The Cruise came out hot as they jumped out to a 10-2 lead early on. It was the kickstart that would help Motor City control most of the opening quarter. Trayvon Palmer got off to a quick start in this one to finish the first with 9 points. It was the Cruise controlling the pace after one, 25-19.
A 13-6 run to begin the second quarter gave the Knicks their first lead of the game. Jalen Johnson was the main culprit, as he had 7 points just minutes into the quarter. It was enough to stir up the Cruise as they responded by going on an 18-11 run to hold the lead with just minutes remaining in the half. It was enough as they would then find themselves with all the momentum and a 59-47 lead at the half, to boot.
James Akino (9 points) and Jalen Johnson (7 points) led much of the charge for the Knicks. Reggie Perry had everything working for the Cruise to finish with 13 points in the quarter. Stanley Umude added 7.
Not Leaving Anything Behind
Motor City put the Knicks in the danger zone as they built their lead up to 71-55 just several minutes into the third. They were able to continue to limit Westchester on the defensive end while taking full advantage of their opportunities when they had the ball.
A 9-2 Cruise run would have the Knicks gasping for air as their lead swelled to 80-57, led by the stellar play of Kyler Edwards. That was all Motor City needed as they would head into the final quarter with a daunting 91-65 lead. Kyler Edwards led the Cruise with 9 points in the quarter, while Jaylen Johnson added 7.
An early run to the quarter from Westchester trimmed into the Cruise lead at 95-75. It wouldn’t last long, as Motor City put an end to that in a hurry. We’ve seen down the stretch of the season what the Cruise can do when other teams put together solid runs. They proved that once again here as they built the lead back to 108-81.
The Knicks wouldn’t be able to muster much of a comeback after that as the Cruise put together another terrific performance. They go on to win this one, 122-93.
Justin Wright-Foreman led the Knicks with 18 points (3 three-pointers) on the night. Dmytro Skapintsev finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds. James Akinjo led the Westchester bench with 14 points and 5 assists.
Melvin Frazier Jr. added 11 points. Jalen Johnson pitched in 12. MJ Walker helped with 8 despite limited minutes.
Stanley Umude had another solid night to lead Motor City as he finished with 22 points (3 three-pointers) and 9 rebounds. Keifer Sykes was back in his game as he tallied 19 points and 7 assists. Reggie Perry had a solid night with 17 points.
Kyler Edwards had a big night in a starting role, finishing with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Jaylen Johnson tallied 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. David Nwaba followed up a double-double with another one to finish with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Trayvon Palmer was a big spark for the Cruise in the game with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. ShawnDre Jones provided 6 points and 8 rebounds off the Cruise bench. Ryan Turrell added 5 points.
Westchester will drop to 9-22 on the season as they have now dropped seven straight. They will have a chance to bounce back when they take on Maine in their next outing. Maine heads into that game at 18-12 on the year.
Motor City continues to play their best basketball when it’s needed the most. The win will move the Cruise to 17-14 as they are now riding a five-game win streak. They will welcome Cleveland on Friday for their regular season finale in what proves to be a pivotal game. The Charge come into Wayne State Fieldhouse with a 17-14 record.