COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — The Grand Rapids Drive (9-6) fell short to the College Park Skyhawks (6-6) in an intense back-and-forth Sunday afternoon rematch by a final score of 98-94. The two teams had played one another less than 48 hours ago in Grand Rapids on Friday night with the Drive winning that one.
The lead changed 12 times and the score was tied four times on Sunday afternoon and after a tough 3rd quarter offensively for visiting Grand Rapids, they were able to grab the lead on a Doumbouya 3-pointer with just under 6 minutes to go in the 4th. But the Drive’s inability to knock down free-throws, going just 6-14 from the charity line, hindered them from holding onto the lead and ultimately falling to the Skyhawks.
The Skyhawks’ big men served up big performances in the paint, giving the home team an upper-hand. Atlanta two-way player Charles Brown Jr. led the team offensively with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Michigan State alum Nick Ward dominated on both ends once again against the Drive, racking up a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Marcus Derrickson played big down low and added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Hawks two-way player Brandon Goodwin contributed a solid double-double with 14 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Tahjere McCall was just short of a double-double with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
Pistons two-way player Jordan Bone kept the Drive in it throughout the game with yet another huge performance, finishing with 23 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and going 10-18 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the 3-point line. Louis King returned for his second game after his brief injury break, contributing 16 points and 5 rebounds on 4-6 shooting from deep. Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya started slow Sunday afternoon but finished with 12 points, draining 3-7 beyond the 3-point line, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Drive picked up the pace in the second half that resulted in the team cutting a 13-point deficit to taking a brief lead in the 4th. But Grand Rapids continued to send the Skyhawks to the free-throw line, resulting in 23 attempts for College Park, compared to just 14 for Grand Rapids.
Ultimately, the Skyhawks sealed the deal by knocking down their free-throws and narrowly out-rebounding the Drive 48-43, converting to second-chance points.