It was a battle that showed definite improvement for the Flash as they kept nearly a 20-point lead on the Stampede last Monday, Feb. 11, and ended their six game winning road streak 99-92.
Morris Almond and Kyrylo Fesenko, who both played in the 2008 D-League All-Star Game last Saturday, had a combined effort of 34 points for Utah. The team had 23 turnovers in all, but out-rebounded the Stampede by almost double.
"We had a problem in the last game with rebounds," Fesenko said. "It was a little embarrassing for me and James [Lang], so we have been working on the rebounds in practice."
James Lang shot just less than 75 percent on the court and contributed 17 points, the same stats he had when they lost to the Stampede last November in the pre-season. He said the key to their victory was simply the energy on and off the bench and getting on the glass.
"Coach just told me last night to be aggressive on the boards and that’s what I came out and did tonight," Lang said.
"It was a great win coming in to play not only the number one team in our division but in the D-League. We had a lot of people contribute tonight and that was the key," said head coach Brad Jones.
During the last game, the Flash were out-rebounded by 14, which is unusual for a team that typically tops its opponent by six rebounds a game.
They came out with a lot of energy; and if it weren’t for Stampede Center Mackael Gelabale, with 10 in the first quarter, it may not have even been a game.
Every Flash player put points on the board, which was a huge difference from the last game where there wasn’t much from the starters or the bench.
"I was complimentary of our team as a whole," said Jones. "We made plays on the defensive and offensive end. Tonight, energy-wise, we got a lot from a lot of different people."
Utah now sits on an even win-loss record 16-16 and will take on Tulsa on the road this Friday.