ABA National Champions Jacksonville Giants Defeated In Dallas By Dallas Vandals | Events
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Giants have been on the road for the past seven days and have played some of the leagues best competition. “It has felt like a playoff run,” said Head Coach Kevin Waters after the victory Friday night against the Texas Fuel in San Antonio. After coming off a big championship rematch at home this past Saturday, the team hit the road for its longest road trip in franchise history. The past three games included victories against rival Gulf Coast Flash, the Louisiana Gators (9 point victory) and the Texas Fuel, in San Antonio.
Sunday afternoon the Giants played in Dallas, Texas, against a Final Four contender from this past season - the Dallas Vandals. It would prove early to be a battle of closely matched teams as they would trade leads 17 times and have 11 ties during the game.
In the end, it was the defense and hot shooting of the Vandals that turned the tide. The Vandals went on a 16-point run in the fourth quarter and ended the Giants eight game winning streak with a 116-103 victory at the Dr. Pepper Arena.
Although both teams finished 9 of 22 from behind the arc (41%), the Vandals had the field goal advantage hitting 51%, while the Giants were at 44%. But the statistic that may have made all the difference was the Vandals forcing five more turnovers than the Giants. Ultimately, the turnover battle lead to the Vandals outscoring the Giants 30 to 17 in fast break points, a statistic that seldom favors a Giants opponent.
“It was a game of runs but the Dallas Vandal's defense gave them more opportunities,” said Waters. The Giants also had an 11 point run and were up by 13 points at one point in the 3rd quarter. The story line almost mirrored that of the championship rematch a week earlier where the Giants erased an 18 point deficit in the third quarter to defeat the South Carolina Warriors. "That's why the game is 48 minutes long," said Giants Owner Ron Sholes after the game. “It’s games like this that make us a better team, playing the best teams we can across the country during the regular season.”
Giants player Currye Todd led the way for the Giants with 22 points. The Vandals had a balanced attack with four players scoring 20 points or more.