The GoGo had been away from the Entertainment and Sports Arena since January 23rd. There was a lot of nervous energy in the first half. They clearly got over the jitters as they broke the game wide open with a dominant third quarter. They won the period 43-17 and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 133-106 victory.
In the early going, the home team struggled with interior defense as the BayHawks scored repeatedly on the inside. The GoGo did make use of their size advantage winning the battle on the glass and they swarmed Eerie on the perimeter causing six steals and turning them over 10 times in the quarter. Their offense eventually picked up as every player who touched the floor for the GoGo scored. Despite shooting 44% from the field and failing to make a three pointer, Capital City ended the first quarter with a 32-28 lead.
The second quarter pretty much mirrored the first. The GoGo had uncharacteristically poor shooting but continued to punish the BayHawks not the boards and wreak havoc on the perimeter defensively. They were turning Eerie over but still lacked a presence on the inside. The GoGo’s poor shooting and inability to stop easy baskets kept the game within reach. They pushed the lead to 12 but the BayHawks responded with a 7-0 run which caused Coach Richman to call a timeout. The game as pretty much back and forth until the end of the quarter. Jerian Grant paced the home team with 12 points in the first half while Josh Gray lead the way for the BayHawks with a dozen himself. The GoGo led 61-55 heading into the break.
After the half, the GoGo put this game completely out of reach. They started fast and didn’t let up. They continued their rebounding dominance and started to string together stops. They converted on the other end as well. They broke the game open with a 24-0 run. By the end of the quarter, seven players had scored in double figures. Gary Payton II and Jonathan Williams registered double doubles up to this point as well. Second chance points were a big part of their surge. They converted 19 offensive rebounds into 26 points. The extra possessions simply buried the BayHawks and they had no answers.
The fourth quarter was fairly inconsequential as the GoGo just drove the final nails in the coffin. They never took their foot off of the gas. Gary Payton II didn’t disappoint in his GoGo debut as he registered 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. The GoGo also had the services of Anzejs Pasecniks as well. They abused Eerie and took advantage of their size. Coach Richman said postgame that their intent was to be physical and overwhelm their opponent. Typically in their big wins, the staple of their performance has been hot shooting, especially from the arc. While they were mostly ineffective from long distance tonight, they were clicking on all cylinders in other facets of the game which led to the huge win.
The GoGo improve to 16-17 and will travel to face Eerie on Tuesday. The BayHawks will definitely have this beating fresh in their minds and will be focused on revenge. They’ll be back at home on Thursday to face the Mad Ants, who they’ve had some trouble with this season, then get right back on the road to take on Greensboro on a back to back. The GoGo have been solid at home and are one of the best teams in the league in the comfort of ESA.
Coach Richman and his staff hope these types of performances will travel moving forward.