The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, hosted the Wisconsin Herd for their 2019-20 Home Opener on Saturday night, on the back end of a home-and-home match-up.
Both teams started slow in the early going of the back-to-back, however while Windy City took control of the Friday night game in Oshkosh, it was Wisconsin who got out to a quick start in the first quarter. Jaylon Adams covered the floor well for the Herd in the early going, drilling two three-point shots, and dishing out six assists, to guide the visitors to a 26-22 lead at the end of the first.
Windy City also had a difficult time stopping Milwaukee Bucks assignment player Dragan Bender, playing in his second straight game with Wisconsin. Bender posted 11 points and four rebounds in the first half.
On the other end, the only two players who could get anything going offensively for Windy City were Max Strus and Milton Doyle. Doyle was red hot from the outside early, hitting four of eight from three, to notch 12 first half points, to go along with three assists. Max Strus shot .500 for the half, contributing eight points and four rebounds but the Herd led 58-42 after 24 minutes.
The lead grew to open the second half for Wisconsin. Back-to-back threes by the Herd ignited a 16-5 run to push the advantage to 27.
The game took a sharp turn from that point as the Bulls positioned themselves well defensively, to force multiple offensive fouls and turnovers by the Herd. The entire Windy City squad mounted a comeback from the perimeter. Shots by Doyle, Justin Simon, and V.J Beachem cut the lead down to just three points with 9:38 to go in the game. The raucous Sears Centre Arena fans who made up the largest Opening Night crowd in Windy City franchise history willed the Bulls to bring the game all the way back, capped by yet another three point shot by Milton Doyle to take the lead 89-87 with 8:30 to go.
Wisconsin refused to back down to the rally, regaining the lead at 92-89 with 6:33 remaining. P.J. Dozier then answered with a three of his own, to go along with a turn-around in the post that knotted the game at 94 points apiece.
A clutch three by Cam Reynolds with under four minutes remaining gave the Herd a 97-94 lead. Wisconsin then knocked down key free throws and jumpers down the stretch, to stave off the Windy City rally, and grab a hard-fought road win, 111-102.
It was a balanced team effort for the Herd, with five players ending out in double figures. Tucker led the scoring for Wisconsin, with 23 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Luke May chipped in with 12 points and ten rebounds, on 3-of-6 shooting from three point range.
Milton Doyle made a strong showing in front of the hometown crowd, pouring in 35 points, five assists, and three steals, hitting on 9-of-19 from deep while Justin Simon sparked the Bulls comeback with two steals, 13 rebounds, and 21 points.
Windy City (1-1) will have a few days off before traveling to Canton to play the Charge on November 15.