Springfield pounced on the Jam early, stretching its lead to as many as 12 points in the opening stanza, but Bakersfield battled back throughout the second to close the deficit to only four at halftime. Coach Will Voigt’s halftime speech must have sparked something in his team because they opened the third quarter with a 16-3 run from which the Armor were never able to recover.
In his return after a one-game absence, Brian Butch led Bakersfield in both scoring and rebounding with 23 and 12 respectively, and also grabbed two steals and a block. Butch’s Springfield counterpart, Marcus Campbell, opened strong with a first-quarter double-double but seemed to tire down the stretch and failed to score after the opening period (though he still finished with 12 points and a season-high 24 rebounds).
The Jam used a well balanced and even-keeled effort to beat the Armor back over the final three quarters, as seven of the eight players used by Coach Voigt scored in double digits. By contrast Springfield had only three double-digit scorers, led by former Jam player Justin Hawkins, who poured in a game-high 25 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists.
Bakersfield’s bench helped the cause considerably, as John Williams played his first significant minutes since missing time with a viral illness and responded with 11 points and three assists, including shooting 3-for-5 from long distance. Reece Gaines, returning to the bench with Butch back in the lineup, played a great all-around game to finish with 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block in just under 32 minutes.
The Armor and Jam face off again on Saturday night, this time at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena rather than the Jam Events Center. Action will tip at 7pm Pacific Time as Bakersfield attempts to remain undefeated against the expansion Springfield squad.