Chris Blake goes for a dunk. Photography by Gary Lloyd McCullough.

Chris Blake goes for a dunk. Photography by Gary Lloyd McCullough.

In front of a tough road crowd, Maurice Mickens and Ed Horton combined for 59 points as the Jacksonville Giants defeated the previously unbeaten Richmond Elite 112-102. The Giants improved to 17-5 as the Elite fell to 10-1.

“This was a great team win in a hostile environment,” said Giants head coach, Kevin Waters.

It had been evident that the game with Richmond would be a very tough test for the fourth-ranked Giants. The Elite edged the #6 Jersey Express on January 3rd, 104-93. Richmond also defeated the #10 DMV Warriors, 117-105, on November 21.

“This was a great win on the road,” said assistant coach Jerry Williams. “We came together as a team.”

Jacksonville jumped out to an early 18-9 lead in the first quarter with impressive three-point shots from both Mickens and Horton. The Giants’ aggressive full-court pressure defense roughed up the Richmond offensive shooting.

Jacksonville started halftime with a commanding 62-44 lead. Jacksonville put on a three-point shooting clinic in the first half in front of the Richmond crowd. Mickens landed five, first-half three-pointers while Horton contributed three, first-half three-point baskets. Horton finished the game with 22 points.

“It was a great team win,” said Mickens, who had a season-high 37 points.

The Elite and leading scorer D. Maxwell were able to cut the deficit in the third quarter. However, Richmond was unable to gain the lead. Maxwell led the Elite in scoring and ended the game with 30 points.

Mickens added 16 fourth quarter points to clinch Jacksonville’s win. Defensively Jacksonville stayed consistent and kept the Elite from making a comeback. The Giants will now travel to Baltimore for a Saturday night showdown with the #10 DMV Warriors. Tipoff is at 7:00 pm.