DANVILLE, INDIANA – The Indiana Lyons began their fifth season in the American Basketball Association (ABA) on Nov. 5 with a home game at Bosstick Gym in Danville against the expansion Excelsior Springs Scream but couldn’t find a winning combination in a 93-87 loss.
The Lyons (0-1) opened up the scoring with five-year veteran Mike Pugh drilling a three-pointer as the home team sprinted to an early 14-5 lead in the first four minutes of the game. Pugh, Dillon Ware and Alex Brown led the early assault. The quick start fired up the crowd of more than 600 fans who stayed loud for the rest of the back-and-forth contest.
However, the Scream (1-0) were not intimidated by the noise or the Lyons, storming back with a 15-1 run of their own, spearheaded by Jaelen Brown, Quantel Denson, and Tavares Sledge. The visitors eventually took a 51-47 lead at halftime.
The tightly-contested second half saw neither team take more than a five-point lead at any time until the final two minutes of the game.
Gerald Campbell and Scootee Walker led the Lyons to a five-point lead late in the third quarter, but the home team’s missed opportunities to score on possessions, make free throws and grab rebounds late in the game ultimately cost them the contest.
Sledge proved particularly problematic for the Lyons, doing most of his offensive and defensive damage in the second half. He buried three of his five treys in the third quarter and scored most of his points in the final two frames.
Campbell led the Lyons in scoring with 24 points, including four three-pointers. Walker notched 19 points, including three treys, while Pugh poured in 12 points, including two from beyond the arc. Ware added 13 points.
The Scream were led by Sledge and his 28 points. Denson and Brown each scored 18 points and each hit two three-pointers for the visiting team.
The game was broadcast by ISC Sports Network and can be viewed on the Indiana Lyons YouTube channel.
The Lyons had won all four of their previous home openers in their history, and they entered the game against the Scream with a gaudy .814 home winning percentage.
The expansion team from the Kansas City metropolitan area, however, proved too large and too physical for the Lyons. Ten of the 12 players on the Scream’s roster are 6’6” or taller. Only four Lyons players meet that criteria.
The Lyons travel to Chicagoland in Week 2 of the ABA season to face another expansion team, the Southland Saints. They return to the Lyons Den on Nov. 19 against the Clarksville Phoenix and Nov. 20 against the Burning River Buckets.
Learn more about the Indiana Lyons, including how to purchase game tickets, at IndianaLyons.com.