Game Review: Erie BayHawks 85, Fort Wayne Mad Ants 77

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Erie BayHawks defeated the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 85-77 last night to open the season 1-0. The two teams will play again *tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 29, at 5 p.m. in Fort Wayne.

The BayHawks seemed to follow my three keys to success (from yesterday's preview post) like gospel:

  1. Dominate the paint.
    The BayHawks outrebounded the Mad Ants 47-36 and had strong performances from both John Bryant and Alade Aminu in their D-League debuts. Bryant got the start at center and made good on the opportunity, recording a double-double (16 points, 14 rebounds) to go along with 3 blocks and 3 assists. Aminu played about half as long as Bryant but still managed an efficient 9 points and 6 rebounds. Mad Ants center Sean Sonderleiter played pretty well himself, but he didn't have much help on the frontline. Fort Wayne clearly missed the presence of NBA call-up Chris Hunter down low.

  2. Defend against the 3.
    Whether it was a change of defensive strategy from Erie or offensive focus from Fort Wayne, the BayHawks limited the Mad Ants to just 3 of 11 shooting from 3-point range after they shot 8 of 23 in their preseason game a week ago. The attempts went down, and so did the percentage, which was a recipe for failure for Fort Wayne against the size of the BayHawks.

  3. Depend on experience.
    Not surprisingly, returning BayHawks Jackie Manuel and Ivan Harris were one and two in minutes played for Erie last night with Manuel playing all but one minute of the game. Manuel, known as a defensive stopper, led the team with 18 points on 5-9 shooting, including 2-3 from 3-point range. Top draft choice and Erie's number one draft pick Donell Taylor also chipped in with 16 points after a bit of an auspicious start.
*The game tips at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Originally, I had mistakenly wrote that it was to be played tonight. Watch the action live on NBA FutureCast or listen locally on the radio on WFNN 1330 AM.


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About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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