Returning from a road trip loss earlier in the week to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Austin Toros hoped to get back into the win column at home against the Erie Bayhawks. However, it was not to be, as after the first, the visitors dominated the Toros, and ended up with a thirty-point victory.
The Austin Toros kept it close during the first quarter, but both teams struggled to get the ball in the basket, combining for only 35 points in the opening frame. The quarter saw five ties and three lead changes, and the home team finished the first with a slight edge at 18-17 over the visiting Erie Bayhawks. Jermaine Beal led the Toros with 6 points, but the remaining points were evenly distributed with six different players logging two points. Guard Blake Ahearn contributed six for the Bayhawks.
The Bayhawks got an early jump on the Toros in the second quarter, pushing out to as much as a 19-point lead and controlling the pace of the game. Although the Toros tried to slow it down several times, it seemed every time they would catch a break, the Bayhawks would take it back and score again. Austin had six turnovers in the quarter and Marcus Cousin added nine points to their tally, but their defense was no match for Tasmin Mitchell and the Bayhawks. Mitchell led the visitors with 12 points and Blake Ahearn added seven for a total of 13 in the half.
Hit the jump to see how the second half of the game went for the Toros.
The start of the second half was more of the same for the Toros unfortunately. The Bayhawks put together a string of driving layups that really made it look easy, surging to a 30-point lead midway through the third quarter. Mitchell and Ahearn kept putting up the points for the visitors, but the team also got a big 9 points out of Ivan Johnson in the third. Kevin Palmer put up 7 for the home team in the effort.
The Bayhawks held on to a thirty-point lead for most of the final quarter, with Derek Raivio getting some more quality minutes in place of Ahearn (who sat out the entire fourth quarter) at point. The Toros continued to struggle and the Bayhawks continued to roll. Kevin Palmer did add another eight points to his total in the fourth, and newcomer to the team, Moses Ehambe added five. However, the Toros could not keep up with the Bayhawks and the game ended in a 109-79 loss.
After the game, the Toros player of the game, Marcus Cousin (who had 15 total points) attributed the Toros failure to stay strong on defense. Cousin said, “We’ve got to play hard on defense..the whole game. We’ve got to stay solid.” Once the Bayhawks got a slight lead in the second, the Toros failed to keep the pressure on and Erie ran away with the game.
The Toros will host back to back games this week on Thursday and Saturday against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.