GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — November 7, 2017 – Dwight Buycks poured in 29 points with six rebounds and five made three-pointers and the Grand Rapids Drive (3-0) overcame a 10-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter for a 103-96 win over the Windy City Bulls (0-2).
The Drive have now opened their season with three consecutive home wins. Derek Willis added 20 points in just 23 minutes before fouling out and Zeke Upshaw had 13 points off the bench for Grand Rapids. They scored 37 points in the fourth quarter, a season high for points in any quarter.
Diamond Stone was the big bright spot for Windy City, scoring 24 points with eight rebounds and going 12-of-18 from the free throw line. Stone was largely responsible for both the Drive’s starting big men fouling out of the game. Jarell Eddie added 18 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls.
Both teams got off to very slow starts offensively, as the score was knotted at just 16 at the first quarter. Grand Rapids was shooting under 30 percent from the floor until the fourth quarter, and that combined with their propensity for fouling helped Windy City put some distance on them in the third quarter, contrary to the Bulls’ struggles in that quarter in their season opener.
But the Bulls ultimately could not contain the Drive defensively in the fourth and managed just 21 points in the quarter themselves. The Drive opened the fourth on a 20-10 run that nearly immediately erased the advantage Windy City built in the late second and third.
The two teams combined to shoot 71 free throws, both converting on a high percentage as the Bulls went 31-for-40 and the Drive 26-for-31. The Drive gained their biggest advantage with better accuracy from deep, shooting 42 percent to 28 percent by the visitors. The Drive also got a season-high 31 points from their bench.
Grand Rapids now takes to the road after the season-opening homestand, as they will play Westchester on Friday night to open a four-game road trip along the East coast. The Bulls will look for their first win back at home against Oklahoma City, also on Friday night.