Marcus Thornton scored 23 points as the Grand Rapids Drive (18-19) used a strong last five minutes to defeat the Greensboro Swarm (19-18) at home Thursday night by a 104-96 final after falling to the Swarm in the final seconds in their previous game Tuesday. The Drive ended the game on a 15-8 run to clinch the victory, their fifth win in their last six tries.
Isaiah Whitehead also scored 18 for the Drive, Kalin Lucas had 16, and Adam Woodbury scored 10 points and set a Drive season record by collecting 18 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Speedy Smith paced the team with seven assists off the bench.
Joe Chealey scored 28 points for the Swarm to lead all scorers, giving him 59 points in his last two games against Grand Rapids. Luke Petrasek added 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench and Zach Smith also picked up a double-double as he finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, also recording four blocks. Sam Thompson also scored 13 points.
Grand Rapids got off to a great start offensively, scoring 60 points in the first half, but the Swarm had 33 points in the second quarter to cut the halftime deficit to just five. Both teams struggled in the beginning of the second half, ultimately failing to combine for 40 points in the third quarter.
The Drive’s defense was able to maintain this effort into the fourth as they ultimately allowed just 41 points in the second half and held Greensboro to under 40 percent shooting from the floor. It was the fourth win of the Drive’s last five where they held their opponent to under 100 points.
The outcome of the game was not settled until the final minutes, as the Drive never led by more than 12. The Swarm had the lead twice, once in the first and once in the fourth quarter, but they never led by more than a point.