“We eat Jam for breakfast,” is what a sign in the crowd displayed as the Utah Flash kicked off their home opener last week, but apparently it was not on the menu as the Bakersfield Jam beat the Flash in overtime 102-100.
It was the first time the two have met since back in April when the Flash dominated on their home court.
“Bakersfield is a really good team,” said former Utah Jazz scout and current Flash head coach Brad Jones. “They had a lot of veterans and we knew that going into the game.”
The tough battle seemed in reach in the first quarter of the game when the Flash maintained a decent lead on the Jam. But the physical play wasn’t enough; the Jam took over for most of the game up until the tie at the end of regulation.
“We just didn’t play very well mentally,” Jones said. “It was like the guys were on another planet.”
The coach says it’s that carelessness and casualness the Flash will need to fix as they progress further into the season. The team had played three previous games up until this point with a win in Austin and a loss at Rio Grande.
Making a big difference was Dontell Jefferson, who put the Flash on the board again late in the 3rd quarter. Several three-point shots and a dunk helped propel the Flash into overtime.
The Flash had 16 seconds to sink a shot for the tie or a three pointer for the victory. Jefferson brought the ball down the court and made the decision to take the final shot for the game.
The missed shot left the Flash with a loss, but it was a decision the team is not disappointed about.
“That’s part of being a point guard, you put them into that position to make that play,” Jones said. “When you have a guy on like the way he was shooting, you just let him do it. He made the decision and I can’t complain about it.”
Aside from the unfortunate loss, the McKay Center was packed compared to last year’s play. The Flash will return home Dec. 12 to play the Dakota Wizards.