The Mob used a pair of dominant second halfs on Thursday night to run their unbeaten streak to 10 games, downing the Buzzsaw, 53-30, and then the Slashers, 56-36, in the Main Event. The Mob led by two at halftime against the Buzzsaw and were tied with the Slashers at the break, but outscored those two squads, 70-31, in the second half. The Mob now lead the second-place Buzzsaw by 3½ games in the standings.
Game 1 – Mob 53, Buzzsaw 30
During the first half, it looked like the Mob may have finally met their match in the red-hot Buzzsaw. But the Mob switched on the afterburners after the intermission and cruised to a 53-30 victory, their ninth in a row to open the season. The Mob, who were 12.5-point favorites at Circa Sports, led just 21-19 at halftime but outscored the Buzzsaw 18-6 in the third frame and the rout was on. Gage Smith (Elizabeth, Colo.) continues to perform at an MVP level, registering 12 points, eight stops and 14 loose ball recoveries. In his return after missing three games with a bruised sternum, Darius Clark (Blue Springs, Mo.) contributed nine points. The Buzzsaw, who shot just 12-of-32 from the field, were led by Malik Abdul-Haqq (Seattle, Wash.) on offense (13 points) and Tyquan Scott (Long Beach, N.Y.) on defense (10 stops, 11 LBRs).
Game 2 – Slashers 70, Ozone 59
The Slashers, who were favored by 7.5 points at Circa Sports, used a dominating second half to pull away from the Ozone in the second game on Thursday. Down by seven points at halftime, the Slashers outscored the Ozone 42-24 in the final two quarters for a 70-59 victory. Tony Crosby II (Long Beach, Calif.), Bradley Laubacher (Bend, Ore.) and Nathan Karsjens (Ackley, Ia.) were too much for the Ozone. Crosby posted a game-high 29 points while Laubacher tossed in a season-high 23. Karsjens, the Slashers’ backup stopper, had his best outing of the season, making 10 stops and grabbing five LBRs. Keith McGee (Rochester, N.Y.) had a team-high 19 points for the Ozone.
Main Event – Mob 56, Slashers 36
It’s a perfect 10 for the Mob! Despite another sluggish start, the Mob rolled to a 56-36 victory over the Slashers in Thursday’s physical Main Event to improve to 10-0. The first half ended with the score knotted at 18 before the Mob caught fire in the third quarter, outscoring the Slashers 26-3. The Mob trounced the Slashers for the third time this season, winning by 70 combined points. Darius Clark (18 points) and Cam Hollins (15 points) led the Mob’s offensive assault. Gage Smith was an impenetrable force on defense, amassing eight stops, eight LBRs and six points. Tony Crosby II’s 12 points, eight LBRs and seven hits were not enough for the Slashers, who fell to 5-4.
Mob coach Brendan Kirsch was pleased with how his team responded in the second half of the two games on Thursday night. “We’ve been challenged in the first half,” Kirsch said. “It’s just that with the system that we run, it really wears teams down in the second half. So, I think what you’ve seen is a lot of teams have played us tough in the first half and then they’re just gassed. We have better conditioning in the second half and our system is kind of like Novocain. It might take a while sometimes, but it’s going to work every time.”
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