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Stampede Take Eight Straight with Win over 14ers

Stampede 97, 14ers 94 (F)

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 11 – It might have taken the entire 48 minutes, but the Idaho Stampede defeated the Colorado 14ers on Friday 97-94 to remain undefeated at 9-0 at home.  The Stampede extend their overall win streak to eight games.  Idaho’s bench played big during the game, outscoring Colorado’s bench 52-17.  Mike Taylor led all scorers with 22 points off of Idaho’s bench, shooting 8-for-12, including 4-of-6 from three point range.

“Our bench was huge for us tonight,” said Stampede Head Coach Bryan Gates.  “Defensively our entire team held it together and put forth the effort needed tonight to beat a really good team.”

The Stampede built as much as a 14-point lead in the third quarter, leading 65-51 with 4:41 left, after three made free throws.  Colorado was outscored 24-15 in the period, while shooting just under 27% from the field.  A pair of three-pointers by Billy Thomas and Eddie Gill, plus an Elton Brown lay-up cut the Idaho lead to six points with one minute remaining, but Idaho’s Taylor hit a three of his own to finish the third quarter up 72-63.

Colorado slowly whittled away the Idaho lead in the fourth quarter, building a two-point lead of their own at 90-88 after two Thomas jump shots and a pair of Terrence Crawford free throws.  Idaho’s Randy Livingston hit a long jumper from the left wing to tie the game back up, but fouled Crawford, who made good on two more free throws.  Taylor hit another three pointer with just over a minute left in the game to give Idaho a 93-92 lead, which was short lived due to a Gill jumper.  With seven seconds remaining, Taylor drove the ball the entire length of the court and hit a running jumper in the lane, and two Lance Allred free throws sealed the home win for the Stampede.

Including Taylor, Idaho had five players finish in double figure scoring.  Allred collected his eleventh double double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds.  Livingston added 12 points and six assists.  Mouhamed Sene, on assignment from the Seattle SuperSonics, finished with 10 points and five rebounds and Josh McRoberts, playing in his first game on assignment from the Portland Trail Blazers, chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and six assists.

All five starters finished in double digit scoring for the 14ers.  Kaniel Dickens and Gill led the way for Colorado, each with 17 points.  Gill dished out eight assists and grabbed seven boards as well.  Thomas put in 16 points, as did Elton Brown, who also snatched down 10 rebounds.  Terrence Crawford added 11 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Tonight’s defeat is the fifth in a row for Colorado (9-9), who will stay in Boise for the 2008 NBA D-League Showcase, and will play on Idaho’s home floor against Albuquerque on Tuesday, January 16 and against Tulsa on Thursday, January 17.

The win pushes Idaho to a 13-5 record, as the Stampede will face the Fort Wayne Mad Ants tomorrow night at home, prior to hosting the Showcase.  Idaho plays the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Tuesday, and Fort Wayne on Thursday.