St. Paul Johnson used its quickness to stifle Delano's offense and to crash the offensive boards, and ultimately to beat the Sabres 64-54. Delano got out of the gate quickly, leading 8-2, 10-4 and 12-6, but Johnson scored on 6 of their next 7 possessions, 2 off the steal, 2 off the offensive glass and 1 in transition off the defensive board. Suddenly it was 19-16 Johnson, and the Governors retained the lead through the rest of the half.
Delano got within 39-35 at 13:05 of the 2nd half but Johnson responded with 7 quick transition points--a Travis Siedschlag 2 + 1 off the steal, a Jalen Mobley layup off a Diantre Collins steal and a Pierre Conwell assist, and a Collins layup off a Mobley defensive board and a Conwell assist. Delano never got closer than 7 points after that.
Generally Delano played into Johnson's strengths by relying on the dribble to advance the ball. The result was 15 Delano turnovers. Johnson had 15, too, but Delano's were ones you could capitalize on and Johnson did with 20 points off turnovers to the Sabres' 13. And while Delano's starting 5 averages 6-4 and Johnson's just 6-1, the Govs used their quickness to dominate the offensive boards 14-5 and to score 9 2nd chance points to the Sabres' 4.
I can't say that Delano ran out of gas late in the game but they probably should have, playing their bench a total of about 4 minutes against Johnson's relentless pressure and 9-deep rotation.
Johnson allowed Delano to stay close by making just 16-of-27 FT but in the end it was enough for rthe win. Quashingm Smith-Pugh made his throws, however, 8-of-9, plus 6-of-13 FG for20 points, plus 15 rebounds and 3 steals. Dalton Pulis of Delano also scored 20 points with 8 boards and 3 steals. Zach Checkal added a double-double for Delano, 12 points and 10 boards.
Player of the Game: Pugh-Smith
Delano pulled out to 6 point leads at 8-2, 10-4 and 12-6 when St. Paul Johnson started to push the pace a little bit and disrupt the Tigers offense. Johnson scored on 6 of their next 7 possessions, 2 off the steal, 2 off the offensive glass and 1 in transition off the defensive board. Suddenly it was 19-16 Johnson, and the Governors retained the lead through the rest of the half.
Delano's starters average 6-4, Johnson's 6-1, but the Govs used their quickness to get an 11-2 edge in offensive boards and 7-2 in 2nd chance points. The turnovers were just 9 (Delano) to 7, but Johnson was much better at converting in transition for a 13-8 edge in points off turnovers.
Quashingm Smith-Pugh leads all players for the Govs with 10 points and 7 boards, while Justin Langeslay came off the bench to score 5 with 4 assists. Center Dalton Pulis leads Delano's balanced attack with 7 points and he also has a game-high 3 steals.
The key in the 2nd half will be for Delano to protect the ball and get into their offense. When they did that in the 1st half, they were in good shape. The key for Johnson is to continue to create some chaos and some transition opportunities.