The Jacksonville Giants (4-0) added a big statement win Friday to capture their 5th consecutive home opener, defeating the South Florida Gold by a score of 116-103. In their first matchup since last year’s Final Four in Shreveport, Louisiana, The Giants have now won two straight against South Florida, and avenged their only regular season loss from the 2013-2014 season. With only an 8-point lead going into halftime, the Giants turned up the heat in the third quarter and held off a late South Florida rally to seal the win.
Tonight’s high scorer for the Giants was Jermaine ‘Slim’ Bell with 17 points, and he also added 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Former Jacksonville University player Delwan Graham posted his first double-double of the season off the bench, with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Ty Thomas, a former player of the South Florida Gold, put up a solid stat line, with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. Overall, five Giants scored in double figures
“It was a tough win tonight,” said Head Coach Kevin Waters. “Jermaine (Bell) came up big for us tonight on the boards. Delwan (Graham) and KT (Kevin Thomas) both did great driving the lane throughout the night. Lots of solid play from most of our guys tonight. A win is a win, and this win is a special one for our guys.”
Saturday – JACKSONVILLE GIANTS WIN 2ND STRAIGHT VS. SOUTH FLORIDA, MOVE TO 5-0
The Jacksonville Giants (5-0) finished off the weekend with another victory over the South Florida Gold by a score of 115-102. The #3 ABA ranked Giants were once again tested by the #2 ABA ranked Gold, but were able to build up a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. The Giants have now won their third straight game against South Florida, and have put together a convincing case to move up in the ABA Power Rankings next week.
Tonight’s high scorer for the Giants was Trey Guidry with 22 points while adding three assists. Jerrell Houston continued to attack the paint throughout the game, and finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Point guard Maurice Mickens had a strong game off the bench for the Giants, scoring 16 points to go with 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Overall, five Giants scored in double figures for the second straight night.
“These guys have a lot of fight in them,” said Head Coach Kevin Waters. “Coming back on Sunday to play the (South Florida) Gold isn’t easy, but they know how to play hard and play well when it matters. Really proud of Jerrell (Houston) for his play today and Trey (Guidry) was hitting his shots no problem. We can’t sit on this win for long. We have Shreveport next week and these guys are going to be ready.”
The Giants take a road trip next week with a highly-contested game this coming weekend. The Giants will take part in a rematch of the 2014 ABA National Championship against the Shreveport Mavericks on Saturday, December 13. Jacksonville vs. Shreveport, ranked #3 and #1 in the nation, respectively, will be televised nationally on ESPN3.com and will take place at the Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, LA.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (ABA)
The American Basketball Association (ABA) is the largest basketball association in North America, encompassing 120 teams in the U.S. and Canada. The ABA season begins in November and concludes in April with the National Championship series. ABA basketball games are fast-paced and exciting, and each game is played with the widely recognizable red, white, and blue basketball. Its trademarked 3D-Rule allows a team to add an additional point on baskets made if they are able to steal the basketball from the opposing team before they reach half -court. This provides for higher scores than other professional basketball leagues, including the NBA.
ABOUT THE ABA JACKSONVILLE GIANTS
The ABA Jacksonville Giants were formed in 2010 by Jacksonville attorney Ron Sholes. In four seasons, the Giants placed 3rd in the nation, won two back-to-back National Championships (2012 & 2013), and placed 2nd in the nation in 2014. After a season of unmatched commitment to the Jacksonville community, the Giants won the prized 2014 ABA National Charity Award that is awarded each season to only one team in the league.