Motor City Gets Back on Track
After dropping their last two games, Motor City was chomping at the bit to get back in the win column. They would be looking to do it with a small bench in this one.
Showing Their Resolve
Offense would be very limited early in the game as both defenses really locked down. Helped with some off-shooting from the Gold, Motor City would hold a slim 9-5 lead several minutes into the game. The defense would continue to be solid on both ends for much of the quarter, but Grand Rapids would do just enough on the offensive end. The Cruise trailed after one, 20-21. Peyton Watson was the difference as he led all scorers with 11 points.
Motor City would put together the first big momentum shift of the night as they went on a 13-8 run to begin the quarter. Getting some easy looks, the Cruise held a 33-29 lead with 7:03 left in the half. Offense was still hard to come by as neither team could really get on track until Motor City’s late run. The Cruise would storm into the locker room with a 50-39 lead after one half of play. Stanley Umude broke the ice for offense as he went for 15 points in the quarter.
Early Run Shifts Game
The Cruise did enough early in the third to build a 63-47 lead led by Jaylen Johnson, who got his offense going. But Motor City was led by its defense to that point as they continued to limit the Gold’s offense. Grand Rapids would cut a little closer in the quarter, thanks to some solid play from Kellan Grady. Even with that, Motor City couldn’t have been happier as they led 76-63 after three. Jaylen Johnson helped the offense with 8 points in the quarter.
One thing was clear, the Cruise wanted to put this thing away to start the fourth. They put together an 8-2 run that put Grand Rapids in an 84-65 hole. That early spark shifted the game’s momentum to Motor City. The Gold seemed to have the life sucked out of them after the run and could never really trim anything off the Cruise lead. Keifer Sykes and Umude really put the nail in the coffin as they helped Motor City take this one, 103-91.
Kellan Grady led the Gold with 23 points (3 three-pointers). His effort gave Grand Rapids some life. Peyton Watson had it going early, but Motor City limite him to 21 points on just 8 of 23 from the field. He would grab 6 rebounds as well. Jack White helped with 18 points and 6 rebounds.
Bryce Wills finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Manny Camper was solid off the Gold’s bench with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Grand Rapids finished shooting just 20% (5-31) from deep compared to the Cruise going 17-42 at 40%.
Stanley Umude had himself a day to lead Motor City with 35 points (6 three-pointers) and 11 rebounds. He really helped the Cruise offense when it struggled throughout the night. Kyler Edwards did it all to finish with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Keifer Sykes led the Cruise bench with 15 points and 6 assists.
Ryan Turrell saw an uptick in minutes this game, making the best of it to add 11 points (3 three-pointers). ShawnDre Jones finished with 8 points and 8 assists. Jaylen Johnson struggled from the field but was still able to spark Motor City with 8 points, 6 rebounds and assists. Trayvon Palmer pitched in 5 points and 11 rebounds.
The loss marks the fourth in a row for Grand Rapids. Their offense really struggled at times, while their defense gives them a chance. They will fall to 7-17 on the year as they look to rebound on March 5 when they travel to Lakeland.
Motor City will get off a mini 2-game losing streak as they take a breath. The big thing in the win was that the Cruise defense really made things difficult for the Gold all night. They will now sit at 12-13 as they stay in the Eastern Conference’s race. They’ll need everything they have on March 7 when they take on a Long Island that is tearing through the G-League.