The Grand Rapids Drive (6-7) overcame a slow start and recorded their second decisive victory in as many games on Friday night as they defeated the Erie BayHawks (3-10) by a 116-88 final.
Jordan Crawford continued to excel in a bench role for the Drive, leading all players with 28 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Crawford tied a Drive franchise record with six made three-pointers, most recently done by his teammate Kevin Murphy earlier this season.
Henry Ellenson, still on assignment from the Detroit Pistons, scored 18 points and Prospect Watch’s #4 D-League Prospect, Ray McCallum, stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists. Michael Gbinije and Murphy also had 16 points.
Anthony Brown and Gabe York were the most effective offensive players for Erie, as they scored 19 points apiece. Brown also had 10 rebounds.
The BayHawks consistently had the upper hand throughout the early parts of the contest. They opened the game on a 12-5 run, at one point led by 12 in the first quarter and held a 35-26 advantage after the first. The 35 points were the most the Drive have surrendered in the first quarter so far this season.
But the Drive came back strong, dominating the second quarter to the tune of a 34-18 tally. The BayHawks could not sustain their hot shooting start of over 60 percent from the field in the first quarter. A steal and a dunk by Piston assignee Gbinije gave the Drive their first lead of the game, 47-46 with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter, and the Drive extended from there for a 60-53 halftime lead.
Back-to-back deep threes from Crawford gave the Drive their first 20-point lead with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter and it was smooth sailing from there. The BayHawks knocked the lead back down to 15 in the fourth quarter but the Drive’s lead was too commanding and they brought it back up over 20 shortly after.
The Drive out-rebounded Erie 57-42, including a 19-9 advantage on the offensive glass. They had 19 assists against just 12 turnovers.
Coming off a back-to-back, Erie ran out of steam after their strong first quarter and a half. They finished the game shooting just 37 percent from the field, including 4-of-22 from bench players.
The Drive will have a back-to-back of their own to deal with tomorrow night, as they host the Oklahoma City Blue. Erie will head to Maine to take on the Red Claws on Dec. 18.