D-Fenders Knocked Off By BayHawks

EL SEGUNDO, CA – The Los Angeles D-Fenders were knocked off by the Erie BayHawks on Monday night, dropping a 97-94 contest at Toyota Sports Center.

Trailing 52-45 at halftime, the D-Fenders (7-13) trailed by as many as 19 points with 6:41 left in the third quarter. However, the D-Fenders went on 22-11 run to close the third frame, sparked by eight consecutive points scored by Zach Andrews. Continuing their run into the fourth quarter after scoring eight straight points, the D-Fenders pulled as close as a single free-throw but never regained the lead and fell at home.

Four D-Fenders scored in double-digits, paced by Courtney Fortson (23 points [10-18 FG], 6 assists) and Elijah Millsap (22 points, 6 rebounds). What’s more, Andrews tallied 17 points to go along with 13 rebounds (second straight double-double), and Gary Flowers totaled 15 points to round out the D-Fenders scorers in double-figures.

Erie (12-9) was guided down the stretch by Tirrell Baines (20 points [10-12 FG], 7 rebounds), who scored 12 points in the final quarter, and Henry Sims (20 points [9-13 FG], 3 blocks), who scored a third of the team’s 60 points in the paint. In addition, Demetri McCamey finished with 18 points and three steals, D.J. Kennedy pitched in 14 points, and Mike Singletary chipped in 10 points in the BayHawks win. Editors Note: In the original article published on January 21st, it read that Zach Andrews scored 10 straight points to close the third quarter. A correction has been made as Andrews tallied eight consecutive points and 10 of the final 11 points scored in the third frame for Los Angeles.


TURNING POINT

After a Courtney Fortson 3-pointer cut the deficit to 93-91 with 46.5 seconds left, Erie then scored on a tip-in from Tirrell Baines on the next possession and D.J. Kennedy converted on two free throws after a missed shot from L.A., pushing the lead to 97-91 with six seconds remaining. Despite L.A. trailing by as many as 19 points midway through the third, the D-Fenders closed the quarter on a 10-3 run – eight of those points coming from Zach Andrews – to cut the Erie lead to 79-71 entering the final frame, and put themselves in a position to win.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Tirrell Baines. In 26 minutes off the bench, the 6-foot-6 forward finished with 20 points (10-of-12 from the floor) and seven rebounds, nearly doubling his scoring average heading into the game. The Marshall product had 12 of those points in the fourth quarter, none bigger than his tip-in off a missed shot from Demonte Harper to give Erie a four-point lead with 22 seconds remaining.

UNSUNG HERO

Demetri McCamey. Though he came into the game averaging less than six points per contest, the 6-foot-3 guard finished with 18 points, including a season-high four 3-pointers. McCamey also recorded four assists, three rebounds and three steals. In the first quarter alone, the Illinois product poured in 10 points to help stake Erie to a six-point advantage out of the first quarter.

KEY STAT OF THE GAME

The D-Fenders allowed 60 points in the paint to the Bayhawks, many of them coming on lay-ups or dunks. Center Henry Sims, ranked No. 17 on the latest D-League Prospect Watch Board, did most of his damage inside toward 20 points on 9-of-13 from the floor.

PLAY OF THE NIGHT

Late in the second quarter with the shot clock running down, guard Courtney Fortson drove past his defender in the lane and softly lofted a pass to a cutting Jamario Moon along the baseline for this alley-oop.

WHERE THEY STAND

The D-Fenders dropped their seventh contest at home this year, and fell to 1-4 in their last five at the Toyota Sports Center. Their record now stands at 7-13 overall. L.A. is back in El Segundo, Calif. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 to face the Bakersfield Jam. The D-Fenders have dropped all three regular-season contests to the Jam, the most recent losses coming during a home-and-away, back-to-back set on Jan. 11 and 12.

by Trevor Wong