The Armor saw a 15 point lead disappear in the second half, but squeezed out a 111-102 (box score) win over the Idaho Stampede Thursday night at the MassMutual Center. The game was much closer than the nine-point score may indicate.
The Stampede (8-15) began the fourth quarter on a 13-2 run to reclaim the lead, the first since the second quarter, but the Armor (13-12) hung tough and with key plays from the bench were able to avoid a devastating home loss.
With the score tied at 92, guard Lance Hurdle knocked down a pair of corner 3-pointers to give Springfield some breathing room at 98-92. After a Mikki Moore’s old fashioned 3-point play cut the lead in half, Dennis Horner responded by making a 3-pointer from the same spot where Hurdle hit his two previous shots.
Although the Armor had a poor showing early in the fourth, Springfield outscored Idaho 19-10 in the final four minutes.
“I just thought it showed our resiliency,” said head coach Bob MacKinnon. “I told them in the timeout, ‘Hey this is pro basketball, you know the other team is going to make runs and now we have to answer it.’ And they did.”
Springfield carried a lead for much of the game. The Armor, led by bench play from Hurdle, Horner, and Damian Johnson, led Springfield to a 10-0 run early in the second quarter. Hurdle hit a 3-pointer to start the run, while Johnson’s defense and two monstrous dunks from Horner did the rest. That run gave Springfield a 37-26 lead, a lead they would not give up until 7:02 remaining in the fourth.
“Our bench was terrific tonight,” said MacKinnon. “To get not only our offensive, but defensive production from our bench was big.”
The Armor held a double-digit lead going into the break.
The Stampede made charges at the Armor’s lead in the third quarter; several times in the third, Idaho brought the deficit to five, but Springfield kept countering, bringing the lead back up.
Springfield had six players score at least 12 points. Horner led the team with a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds. Hurdle and JamesOn Curry both had 20. Center Jeff Foote had another double-double, 12 points, and 11 boards. All nine Armor players that saw action recorded at least one rebound and one assist.
Idaho was led by former Detroit Pistons guard Terrico White, who scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half. Former NBA player Tony Bobbitt and former New Jersey Nets forward Mikki Moore chipped in 14 and 13, respectively. Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker only had seven points and a rebound in 26 minutes.
Idaho takes on Maine Friday night on the road, while Springfield enjoys a homestand, welcoming the Reno Bighorns Saturday night.
Notes: According to sources, former NBA point guard Marcus Banks was claimed by the Stampede. Banks last played for the Toronto Raptors in 2010-2011…He joins Mikki Moore, Antoine Walker, Tony Bobbitt, and Terrico White as Stampede players with NBA experience…With the 13th win of the season, MacKinnon and the Armor tie the franchises record for most wins a season. MacKinnon needs eight more wins to break Dee Brown’s mark of 20 wins as the most in franchise history…Nets assignee Jordan Williams had six points and six rebounds in 28 minutes. Williams struggled with foul trouble for most of the game.