The Mavericks responded when their double-digit lead in the second half shrank to two points.
They built another double-digit lead and beat rival Space Jam 84-63 on Thursday night at the Marshall Wellness Center. The defending champion Mavericks won the season series 3-2 in the final game before the playoffs.
Kenneth “DJ” Davis had 20 points with three 3-pointers, seven rebounds and six assists for the Mavericks (12-3). Adrian Hargrove added 14 points with four 3-pointers and four rebounds.
“We rode Adrian’s and DJ’s hot shooting and then we got some stops to help push our lead in the first half,” Mavericks player/coach Mike Baez said. “In the second half, they made a run right after halftime to cut it to four. And Willie (Lawson) came in and got up some easy layups. They had a lot of turnovers in a spurt and that helped us make our run.”
Davis scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half. The Mavericks led 43-25 at halftime but Space Jam closed to 55-53 with 10 minutes left. The Mavericks made a 15-2 run for a 70-55 cushion at 3:18.
“Defense,” Davis said. “Defense and team camaraderie. Playing together. When they started getting close, we were able to lock down on defense and pull away from them.”
Willie Lawson, a 6-foot-4 forward, provided a boost when he arrived two minutes into the second half. He was late because he was coaching the Redstone 10-and-under Rockets to a city tournament semifinal win over Eastern, 32-22 at the Optimist Recreation Center. The Rockets advanced to the final against Lakewood.
Lawson contributed 10 points and two rebounds for the Mavericks. He made a three-point play for a 62-53 lead at 7:29.
“I think I gave a little energy to the team since I was fresh,” he said.
Baez had 12 points with four 3-pointers, four rebounds and two steals. Jeff Smith had 10 points with two 3-pointers and six rebounds. Lee Smith added eight points and five assists.
Brett Bouldin had a game-high 25 points with seven 3-pointers and four rebounds for Space Jam (13-3). Adam Kimbro had 20 points with three 3-pointers, six rebounds and two assists. Jamaine Nance contributed seven points, four rebounds and six assists. Julius Lucas had eight rebounds and blocked two shots.
“They had a run, we had a run, they had a run,” Space Jam player/coach Byrd Hayes said. “We had five turnovers in a row (in the second half). Couldn’t recover.”
Thursday’s other results included: Hard Knox 49, Marske & Crutch 39; Almost Semi-Pro 66, Monstars 38; RTC 64, Hot Cheese Soup 52; and Trashed Pandas 82, Blouses 67.
RTC 64, Hot Cheese Soup 52: Julius Lucas scored 17 to lead Redstone Test Center (7-8).
Player/coach Juan Hall had 16 with four 3-pointers. Sheldon Smith added 14 with four 3-pointers.
“Great team effort,” Hall said. “We stayed with it. We got down early, came back and kept pushing.”
Chase Clinard poured in 19 for Hot Cheese Soup (7-7).
“Fought hard. We played good defense,” Hot Cheese Soup player/coach Ethan Walker said. “We didn’t hit enough shots and struggled with their size.”