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Wizards Celebrate First Round Playoff Victory

Iowa 114, Dakota 109

Des Moines Iowa, April 16, 2009: Behind Wizards guard David Bell's 34 points off the Bench including hitting 10 – 13 from three point land, the Dakota Wizards beat the Iowa Energy 114 – 109 in the first round of the NBA D-League playoffs at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines Iowa tonight.

Dakota started the game very slow and found themselves down 23 – 6 early on in the first quarter. Then Dakota turned it on going on a 14 -4 run to finish the first quarter only down seven after one. The Wizards lit up the scoreboard in the second quarter outscoring the Energy 40 – 22 to take an 11 point lead going into the half.

“Wow what a game by David Bell,” said Wizards head coach Duane Ticknor. “He shot the ball really well tonight and we needed every bite of it. I am really proud of our guys for the way they handle adversity. We could have rolled over in the first but we didn’t, we played hard as a team on the road and got the win.”

The second half was all Dakota. They kept the pressure on throughout the half as it came down to free throws down the stretch, which Dakota shot 91% from the charity stripe hitting 22-24 to seal a first round victory for the Wizards.

Dakota had six players in double figures including Bell. Guard Blake Ahearn finished the night with a double double 20 points and 11 assists, while forward Renaldo Major also had 20 points of his own. Forward Richard Hendrix grabbed yet another double double for himself finishing with 16 points and 14 rebounds and guard Maurice Baker nailed 12 points to go with his 10 rebounds to get a double double of his own.

Iowa was led in scoring by guard Othyus Jeffers' double double 31 points and 14 rebounds, while former Wizards guard Denham Brown nearly grabbed a double double of his own finishing the lose with 20 points and 9 rebounds.

The Wizards will travel once again for the second round of the Playoffs, this time a trip to Utah as they will take on the Flash for a chance to host the first game of the NBA Development League Championship Series. Dakota and Utah hit the floor on Monday April 20th at 8:00 PM CT.