Idaho 92, Albuquerque 84
BOISE, December 1 -- The Idaho Stampede utilized a strong defensive performance in the fourth quarter to defeat the Albuquerque Thunderbirds 92-84 for their fourth straight win. Idaho improves to 4-1 on the season, as they held the Thunderbirds to 16 points on 5-of-20 shooting in the final period, and avenges a 94-92 loss in Albuquerque on November 23.
Albuquerque committed two key turnovers and Stampede forward Ernest Scott blocked an Alando Tucker shot in the final minute to seal the win.
The Thunderbirds shot 38.6% from the field for the game, though a controlled style of play as they committed only 9 turnovers the entire contest. Idaho finished with a 54-37 rebounding edge.
Roberto Bergersen scored 12 of his game and season-high 30 points for the Stampede in the fourth quarter, who also had three others score in double figures. Randy Livingston finished with 16 points and eight assists, Scott had 12 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, and Cory Violette added 14 points, eight rebounds and a season-high six assists.
The game started out as a sluggish defensive affair, as each team shot under 40% in the first quarter. The Stampede took control early in the contest, utilizing an advantage in the middle to build a nine-point lead with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Idaho continued to build upon that advantage as they built an 11-point lead with 9:36 remaining in the first half on a Bergersen jumper from the paint.
The Thunderbirds roared back with an 18-2 run midway through the second quarter to take a 35-32 lead with 3:27 remaining in the half. The Stampede answered back in the final minutes with an 8-2 run for a 40-37 advantage heading into halftime.
Neither team led by more than six points in the second half until the final minute of the game.
Tucker, on NBA assignment from the Phoenix Suns, finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds for Albuquerque. Josh Gross added 20 points, while Darvin Ham contributed 11 points in a losing effort.
Albuquerque returns home for a back-to-back series against the Colorado 14ers on Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8. Idaho hosts the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Tuesday, December 4 before heading on a six-game road trip.