RENO, NV – The D-Fenders defeated the Reno Bighorns 123-121 tonight in Reno, NV.
Los Angeles (1-0) was led by Manny Harris (39 points, 10 rebounds), and Vander Blue (26 points, five rebounds). Josh Magette finished with 18 points (4-of-6 3PA) and seven assists. Robert Upshaw tallied 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks, while Justin Hawkins also scored 11 points. Zach Andrews grabbed 11 rebounds, scored eight points and blocked three shots for the D-Fenders.
Ricky Ledo (33 points) paced the Bighorns (0-1), while Sundiata Gaines (27 points), Vince Hunter (21 points, 17 rebounds), Marshall Henderson (15 points), and Duje Dukan (14 points) all scored in double-figures for Reno.
The two teams set the trend for the game early, finishing the first quarter tied at 23. Magette scored six points for Los Angeles, followed by Upshaw and Harris with five points each. Ledo finished the quarter with eight points for Reno. The D-Fenders shot .591 from the field in the second quarter, and outscored the Bighorns 34-33 to take a 57-56 lead into the halftime break. Harris scored 14 points in the second, and finished the half with a game-high 19 points. Magette had 11 points at the break, followed by Blue with 10. Henderson (15 points) and Ledo (13 points) led the Bighorns.
Los Angeles continued to heat up in the third quarter, shooting .625 from the field and outscoring Reno 37-33. Harris and Hawkins each had nine points in the quarter for the D-Fenders, who led 94-89 heading into the fourth quarter. The final frame proved to be a nail-biter, as the two teams traded buckets, with Reno outscoring Los Angeles 32-29. Harris (11 points) and Blue (10 points) did the scoring for the D-Fenders, while Ledo led the Bighorns with 12 points. Hawkins hit two free-throws with 7.8 seconds left to give the D-Fenders a 123-121 lead. Hunter put up a shot at the buzzer that would have tied it for Reno, but upon review, the shot did not leave Hunter’s hand before the buzzer sounded, giving Los Angeles a 123-121 win.
The D-Fenders shot .500 from the field, and .480 from three-point range, compared to .461 and .385 for the Bighorns. Los Angeles connected on 27-of-34 free-throw attempts, while Reno finished just 12-of-20. The D-Fenders blocked eight shots, while Reno had zero.
The D-Fenders return to El Segundo for the home opener tomorrow night vs. Santa Cruz at 6:30pm PT.