While in front of an electrifying home crowd of 2374 in attendance at Edward Waters College, the Jacksonville Giants won their sixth straight game with a commanding 130-105 victory over the Atlanta Wildcats. Jacksonville improves to 14-4 this season.
The game was highlighted by Bernard Nugent’s season high of 27 points. Nugent’s scores complemented by a stingy Giant defense made a big difference for the 25 point margin of victory.
Early on in the game, Jacksonville jumped out to a 28-21 lead in the first quarter. Nugent led the quarter with six points followed by Chris Blake with five. Richard Ford, Blake, and Nugent all had long-range three-pointers and kept the Atlanta defense guessing. Defensively, Jacksonville was applied continuous pressure on a balanced Atlanta team.
Jacksonville added to their lead with a 36 point second quarter effort. Multiple players entered into the offensive mix for the Giants. Veterans Jermaine Bell and Ed Horton added a combined 15 points during the quarter and gave the Giants a 65-41 halftime lead. Horton landed two three-point baskets while Bell and Elijah Smith added slam dunks that energized the Edward Waters College crowd. Nugent, Maurice Mickens, and Jarrod Tucker added crucial points for Jacksonville.
A lead of over 20 points did not change the Giants game-plan. Jacksonville played a fast, offensive tempo and pressure defense throughout the remainder of the contest. Multiple players contributed in the third quarter to place Jacksonville in a 93-65 lead.
Atlanta challenged Jacksonville late in the game with a combined 40 points in the fourth quarter. Rashad Faust led the Wildcats with a game high of 36 points. Josh Montgomery contributed 28 points and Jerrod Smith had 14 for the Wildcats.
A total of eight Giants players scored in double digits for the win. Top Giants scorers in double digits were Nugent (27), Horton (15), Blake (12), Ford (12), Bell (11), Smith (11), Tucker (11), and Calvin Warner (10).
Jacksonville now turns their attention to Sunday’s game vs the Southwest Warriors at the Cuba Hunter Rec Center. Following Sunday’s game, the Giants will go on a four-game road trip for nearly two weeks.