AUSTIN – A dominant third quarter helped lift the Austin Spurs to victory over the Iowa Energy on Friday night by a final score of 117-110.
Cory Jefferson, who head coach Ken McDonald referred to as the “anchor” for Austin during halftime, tallied his seventh double-double of the season, as the forward finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes. Bryn Forbes remains on assignment from San Antonio, with the rookie also finishing with 25 points. Patricio Garino had one of his best performances of the season with 17 points, two rebounds and three steals. Daniel Nwaelele had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Troy Williams gave the Spurs defense a fight all night, as he finished with 24 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Wayne Selden had 23 points and four rebounds for the Energy, while JaKarr Sampson had 22 points, seven rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes.
Jefferson’s 11 first quarter points put the Spurs ahead early, giving the silver and black a 32-21 lead after 12 minutes of action.
As Austin’s offense went cold, the Energy seized the opportunity and eventually took the lead late in the second, but Iowa’s poor rim protection to end the quarter cost them some momentum going into halftime, as a pair of easy buckets from Forbes and Jefferson gave Austin a 56-55 advantage heading into the locker room.
Midway through the third quarter, Garino and Livio Jean-Charles helped fuel a 13-3 run for the Spurs to push their lead to as much as 15 points, before heading into the final quarter up 92-81.
Even with the game already decided and the worst record in the Development League, Iowa fought throughout the entire fourth quarter. Williams would score seemingly at will in the fourth, getting 11 of his 24 points in the quarter. A couple of bad turnovers by Ryan Arcidiacono would be remedied with a few late free throws, as the Spurs held on to win by seven.
Now sitting at 8-11 on the season, the Austin Spurs get a nice break to kickoff 2017 before facing off against the 13-8 Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Jan. 6. Tipoff for that game will be at 7 p.m. CST from State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, TX.