GRAND RAPIDS (March 17, 2018) – KJ McDaniels blocked a potential game-tying layup by Xavier Rathan-Mayes with seven seconds remaining to help the Grand Rapids Drive (26-21) escape with a 91-89 win over the Westchester Knicks (30-17) on Saturday night. The Drive trailed by five entering the fourth quarter of a back-and-forth game, but did just enough to earn a crucial third win in a row.
Kay Felder led the Drive in scoring for the fourth consecutive game, as he finished with 18 points. McDaniels did not have quite his usual scoring punch off the bench, but still finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and five blocks. Two-way player Reggie Hearn added 16 points and eight rebounds and Speedy Smith had 10 assists off the bench.
Rathan-Mayes fought off some struggles with his shot to record 21 points to lead the Knicks, with 15 of those points coming on three-pointers. Billy Garrett was the only other Knick to record more than 11 points, finishing with 19 points and six rebounds. Adam Woodbury also had 14 rebounds for Westchester.
The Knicks played great defense early, holding the Drive to just 40 points in the first half and forcing 20 turnovers. The Drive were only able to attempt 77 field goals in the entire game. But the Knicks were never able to score more than 23 points in a quarter themselves, allowing the Drive’s 29 points in the fourth quarter to still damage them. The Knicks also shot just 38 percent from the field, including 19-of-43 in the paint.
It is a big win for Grand Rapids in the playoff race, as they came into the game tied for the second wild-card spot in the playoffs. The Knicks have already clinched a playoff berth.
The Drive will look for four wins in a row as they head back on the road to play the Windy City Bulls on Tuesday night. The Knicks’ next game is Wednesday night at the Wisconsin Herd.