G-Force head coach Wes Matthews speaks to his team during a timeout.
Visiting Side Victorious in International Basketball League Play
The Jersey G-Force hosted the first home game of its young history on Friday night, falling to the Orlando Venom by a count of 126-121 at Bergen Community College. A pair of G-Force guards eclipsed the 30-point mark in this hotly contested match-up, with Devon Young leading the offensive cause with 32 points and David Seagers right behind him with 31 points.
The action got underway with the two teams trading buckets, but the G-Force began building its post presence when play resumed after the first media timeout. Additionally, the hosts began turning up the heat on defense as well, forcing turnovers and aggressively attacking the glass. With that determined effort on both ends of the floor, the G-Force closed out the opening quarter on a 12-2 run and possessed a 28-18 advantage when the horn sounded to end the first frame.
The hot hand belonged to the Venom when the second quarter got started, as the visitors were able to put together a big rally that saw them claim a 38-34 lead by the time the clock hit the five-minute mark. However, the G-Force started running a full court press in the latter minutes of the frame, once again forcing turnovers and making the most of its chances to put the ball away. Jersey guard Louie McCroskey really found his groove leading into halftime, burying three consecutive three-pointers to help put his team back on top at the intermission, 56-47.
Momentum swung back in the direction of Orlando when the second half began, with the team collectively hitting a series of three-pointers early to pull within five points, 62-57. The play became very even after that point differential appeared, and the two teams began exchanging field goals back-and-forth. The G-Force also started giving some really good effort on the defensive end, which was sparked by the consistent shot blocking of center Cody Boone. However, the Venom went on a huge run to finish out the frame, and the visitors were holding an 89-83 advantage when the fourth quarter was ready to begin.
Orlando claimed its biggest lead of the contest after swingman David Wood banged a triple at the start of the final frame, extending its advantage to nine points, 92-83. The G-Force then responded by picking up the pace on defense and riding the offensive momentum of Young. Following back-to-back steals on the inbound pass by Seagers and Boone, accompanied by some clutch free throws from center Sam Wallace, the home team reclaimed the edge on the scoreboard, 96-95.
The momentum continued to swing back-and-forth as the fourth frame passed, but the visiting side would eventually get the better of the exchange. After Orlando retook the lead with two minutes to go, the G-Force battled to close the gap, but time would expire before it could accomplish that feat. When the final seconds ticked off the clock, a tally of 126-121 in favor of the Venom showed on the scoreboard.
The G-Force will now host Orlando for a second time on Saturday night, with tip off slated for 7:00 p.m. at Bergen Community College. For more information on the G-Force, visit the team online at www.JerseyGForce.com.