The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, concluded their six-game homestand with a 117-107 loss to the Erie BayHawks, snapping their four-game winning streak.
For the 23rd time this season, Antonio Blakeney led the Bulls in scoring with 27 points and added seven rebounds and two assists. Jarell Eddie tallied 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Ryan Arcidiacono posted 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Mychal Mulder scored 13 points off the bench and Tyler Harris pitched in with 12 points.
The first quarter was nip-and-tuck as the game was tightly contested at the outset. In fact, the quarter featured two ties, 13 lead changes and neither team led by more than four points. Harris was aggressive early and led all players with 10 points in the period. The Bulls were efficient on offense, knocked in 50 percent of their field goals, scored half of their points in the paint, but only led by one at the end of the first quarter.
Six BayHawks players, including all five starters, scored in double figures led by Jaylen Morris who poured in 27 points. Jeremy Evans, who ranks sixth in rebounding, scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while John Gillon collected his second double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 assists. Raphiael Putney, Erie’s leading scorer, recorded 14 points with Beau Beech and Craig Sword scoring 12 points apiece.
Windy City managed to create separation in the second quarter, aided by a solid start to the period. Arcidiacono scored 11 of his 15 points in the quarter, including the Bulls first seven points. Leading by four with just over nine minutes remaining in the half, Mulder poured in a three-pointer followed by Arcidiacono, who tallied a four-point play of his own to give Windy City their first double-digit lead of the night. However, the BayHawks wouldn’t go away and later responded with a 10-0 run of their own to tie the game at 53. Erie shot over 56 percent in quarter, scored 20 of the final 29 points in the stanza and led 59-57 at the intermission.
Both teams traded baskets to start the quarter, but the BayHawks eventually took control of the game. Erie shot over 50 percent for the second time in two quarters and increased their lead to double figures. Johnson and Blakeney tried to keep the Bulls afloat scoring seven points apiece, but collectively, Windy City shot 28 percent from the floor. Erie went on lead by as many as 15 points and outscored the Bulls 31-23 in the stanza. The BayHawks offensive efficiency in the second and third quarters propelled them past Windy City and they led 90-80 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Erie began the fourth quarter with a 13-5 run and opened an 18-point lead, their largest of the night. Windy City made a late attempt to get back in the game and rattled off ten consecutive points to trim the lead to eight, but that is as close as they would get. The BayHawks closed the game in style and scored on three consecutive possession to seal their 21st win of the season.
Windy City finished their six-game homestand with a 4-2 record. The Bulls depart from Sears Centre and begin a four-game road trip on Sunday with a matinee game against the Main Red Claws. Tip-off is 12:00 p.m. at the Portland Expo Building.
Fans can stay up-to-date on team news by following the team on Twitter (@WindyCityBulls) or visiting (WindyCityBulls.com). Full season membership, group, and single tickets for the 2017-18 Windy City Bulls season are on sale now. For all ticket information and full season schedule, visit WindyCityBulls.com.