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Idaho Stampede 144 Reno Bighorns 134 Game Recap: Joel Wright ignites for 41 points in win

RNO: 46 - 26 - 44 - 18 -- 134
IDA: 32 - 39 - 31 - 42 -- 144

Michael Heiman/Getty Images

If you've been following the NBA-DL this year you'd know that the Reno Bighorns score a lot of points. They average 137 ppg, and their high octane offense boasts David Stockton (yes, of those Stocktons) as their point guard. He's averaging 16.5 ppg, 11.3 apg (you can't believe how hard it is to get an assist in the NBA-DL), 3.3 rpg, and 1.8 spg. It's no wonder that their team has a 30+ ppg scorer, a 20+ ppg scorer, and four other guys adding 10+ ppg.

All season long I've seen the Idaho Stampede not defend as well as they should, but they have the ability to stay in games through their individual player's offensive abilities. So last night as no surprise to anyone as Reno busted out for nearly 50 points in the first quarter. Seriously, Idaho was down 46-32 after one. It's one thing to be able to hang around, but you have to keep pace with Reno if you are going to beat them. They did as they cut the margin down to one point as the Bighorns led 72-71 at halftime.

Coach Cooper (of Idaho) got his players to stay with the game plan, but Reno re-loaded and then dropped ANOTHER 40+ point quarter on the Stamps in the third, this time winning 44-31 going into the fourth with a +14 lead on the road.

Thankfully Idaho clamped down on Reno, and won the decisive 4th quarter 42-18. As you can imagine the 2,028 crowd went nuts.

Who know who really went nuts in this game? Stamps bench player Joel Wright. He shot 19-19 on his way to a 41 point game (with 9 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 assists, and 2 blocks). He wasn't on my radar before, but he is now.

  • Kevin Murphy had 21 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and while he went 7/7 from the FT line, I'm more impressed that he has finally started to make three pointers (going 2/6). He also had 7 turn overs, so that's not so hot.
  • Toure' Murry had another all-around game with 14 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block -- but he shot only 5/12 from the field.
  • Nick Covington came back, but the starter in his first game from injury game off the bench, and he had 9 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes of action
  • Jerrelle Benimon had a great game inside with 20 and 17, with 12 assists to boot. Yes, Triple double. And yes, I buried the lede here. He had no answer, but no, he's not Arvydas Sabonis . . . yet . . .
  • Jack Cooley is still injured
  • Tre Bussey is coming along well as an actually legit prospect, but played only 15 minutes and had 6 points and 2 assists. His defense is getting better.

There was a lot of scoring in this game for both teams (obviously), with John Stockton 's son Dave putting up 16 and 14 assists, with 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 threes for his efforts.

The Utah Jazz affiliates up in Idaho are now 3-2 on the season and are leading the West division by 0.5 games. There are now 45 more games left in the season, and our boys have won three straight. Out of the prospects we have only two are on the bubble to be called legit NBA players so far: Kevin Murphy and Toure' Murry. Murphy is slowly getting it, and as the focal point of the offense he doesn't have to shoot it each time down the court. Too often he does regress to his NCAA days where he was the best player on the floor, and didn't have help. Recognizing that you have to help the other guys score is an NBA player trait. Toure' looks good to go, and is eating up the competition right now. But more on them in a future post.

These two teams play again tonight at 3:00 PM MT.