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Fayetteville 115, Roanoke 106

Patriots Top Dazzle Before Record Crowd

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., April 7 – After holding a double-digit lead for most of the game, the Fayetteville Patriots almost let it slip away before settling down and closing out the Roanoke Dazzle, 115-106, in NBA Development League action at the Crown Coliseum Friday night. The Patriots marked the final home game of the season by celebrating Fan Appreciation night and Erik Daniels didn’t disappoint the record number of fans, posting 27 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out six assists.

The Patriots broke their own D-League attendance mark, drawing 7,312 fans to see them improve to 16-31. Roanoke, who had locked up a playoff berth coming in, finishes up its regular season at 25-23. Fayetteville wraps up its season Saturday at Florida.

The Patriots opened quickly, as Detroit Pistons rookie Alex Acker nailed a three-pointer on the game’s first possession. Acker poured in 11 in the frame and Fayetteville led by as much as 13. In the second, the Dazzle whittled away at the lead cutting it to six at the break. But the Patriots started just as strong in the second half, pushing the lead back to 12 less than two minutes in and it stayed in double digits until the final second of the quarter when Roanoke’s James Taylor hit a pair of free throws to trim the lead to nine.

Fayetteville’s 6-11 center Rick Rickert and 6-9 forward Amir Johnson each collected his fourth foul in the waning minutes of the third, so head coach Mike Brown sat them down.

Roanoke took advantage, scoring four straight baskets in the paint within 40 seconds. Then Isiah Victor sank a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one, and Brown called a timeout. Rickert and Johnson re-entered the game and Fayetteville slowly re-claimed control. The Dazzle were able to cut the lead to three at the 2:35 mark, but Fayetteville allowed just a single score the rest of the way and Daniels notched his last five points as the Patriots closed out the game with a 9-3 run.

Acker finished with 23, Johnson had 19 and Rickert hit for 18. Both had a pair of blocks and Rickert had a pair of steals as well.

Victor paced Roanoke with 24. Malik Moore had 19 and Bryant Matthews added 18.