The Lansing Pharaohs optimistically entered weekend #3 with a 2-2 record after going 2-0 in their first homestand of the season the previous weekend. The Pharaohs would look to continue their “next man up” mentality during a two-game road trip as C, Rozelle Nix, was sidelined due to a calf injury that he should be fully recovered from by next week.
The first game of the road trip was played Friday night (3-25) against the Medora Lumberjacks, who entered the game with a 1-4 record and a 4-game losing streak. The first quarter featured competitive basketball with a lot of back-and-forth scoring and a large variation of Pharaoh’s players getting active leading to a 34-23 lead for the Pharaohs after 1Q. An 8-0 start to the second quarter for the Lumberjacks mixed with an uncharacteristically high shooting percentage for the team, who shot 48% from the three-point line, allowed them to get back into the game cutting the deficit to only 1 point at halftime (Pharaohs lead 54-53). The Lumberjacks continued to take advantage of their great shooting night in the 3rd quarter surpassing the Pharaohs and never looking back as they took advantage of an equally uncharacteristic low shooting % night from the Pharaohs. The Lumberjacks would lead 82-68 after the third quarter. The fourth quarter played as an almost repeat of the third as the Lumberjacks continued to grow their lead ending the game with a 114-90 win, easily the Pharaoh’s most lopsided loss of the season. The Pharaoh’s Friday night matchup vs Medora marked the first time this year a Pharaoh’s player hadn’t scored over 15 points. Contrastingly, the Lumberjacks benefited from 6 players scoring 15 or more points. A lone highlight of the would have to be PF/C, Sam Muldrow tallying a double-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
Game number two of the road trip took place Sunday evening (3-27) against the Detroit Hustle, who entered the game with a 3-3 record. Anticipation for the game was high due to the fact that the Michigan Championship Belt was being played for and the Hustle provided balanced competition to the Pharaohs due to the team’s similar records. The Pharaohs started the game off strong leaving their poor shooting behind as they ended the first quarter with a 31-18 lead. The Pharaohs kept pace in the second quarter riding a comfortable lead and maintaining consistent scoring leading to a 68-56 lead at the half. The third quarter did not look much different than the second as the Pharaohs continued to do a good job of moving the ball around, getting good shots, and preventing any sort of run from the Hustle. The Pharaohs remained in the lead by 12 after the third quarter leading 94-82. The fourth quarter featured a few scares where the Hustle were able to cut the lead to 4 points on two different occasions, but the Pharaohs held their ground and finished the game with a 116-107 win. The Pharaohs had a balanced offensive attack that featured 6 players scoring over 10 points and an excellent performance by PG, Maurice Jones, who tallied 20 points, 8 assists, and went 10/10 from the free-throw line. PF/C, Sam Muldrow also recorded his second double-double of the weekend with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
The Pharaohs shift focus to the upcoming weekend that will feature a hefty 3 game homestand with games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. With a 3-3 record the Pharaohs find themselves in third place in the Upper Midwest division of The Basketball League.