For the first time since March, the faithful Texas Legends fan base got to cheer their hometown heroes back onto the Dr Pepper Arena court. Behind six players scoring double-figures –including all starting five recording at least 15– the Legends defeated the Oklahoma City Blue, G League affiliate of the Thunder, 129-123 in their 2017-2018 home opener.
After an early jump for the Blue, the Legends took control of the game early in the second quarter and never looked back. Feeding off the home crowd, Brandon Ashley helped the Legends secure a win and send the team over .500 with a record of 3-2.
“I feel like we have the best fan base in the entire G League,” says the returning Legend. “It’s always good to get back here in front of our home crowd and it’s a great atmosphere.”
Starting at forward, the former Arizona Wildcat can be utilized at almost any position and plays that to a big advantage. “I like the fact that I have the versatility and my versatility is being used. Playing the positions three through five, I feel like I have different areas where I can attack and I think it benefits me and the team as well.”
Ashley would finish with 21 points and hit a dagger three-pointer with 1:38 left in the game to put the good guys up 123-118. “I’m always confident. I know that I can shoot the ball. It may not always go in but I know that I have the capability. My thing is if I’m open, take the shot.”
Two-way player Johnathan Motley followed up Ashley’s big three-point shot with one of his own and finished the night with 23 points, 11 rebounds (four offensive) and a season-high three blocked shots.
Speaking of season highs, Justin Dentmon picked up seven–count ‘em– seven steals to go along with his usual points supply. For this night, he would notch a total of 28 to lead the Legends. He also set a temporary season-best sum of assists with nine and grabbed four rebounds, doing a little bit of everything from the starting point guard position.
The Legends’ point guard production on Saturday night was nothing short of extraordinary. If it wasn’t Justin Dentmon performing admirably, Bryson Fonville stepped right in. The second-year player tied his second-best point total of his career with 14.
“I came off the bench and brought a spark,” says Fonville, who also dished out three assists. “A lot of my teammates and coaches tell me to just be aggressive. A lot of times it starts with me on defense, I get my energy going and then the offense comes itself. I felt really good out there today. It was a good game.”
Fonville entered the game off the bench and immediately nailed three three-pointers, setting the pace for himself and the team to capture the lead after the Blue began the game with it. “It’s a confidence booster. You just keep shooting and it feels like they’re all going in.”
Another sophomore, Kyle Collinsworth, flexed his swiss army knife muscles to the tune of 15 points, nine rebounds (five offensive) and six assists. He made 6-of-7 shots and hit both of his three-point attempts.
After setting a career high in points on opening night two weeks ago in Austin with 16, another sophomore, Keith Hornsby, racked up 19 big ones (6-of-12 FG, 4-of-8 3PT) to round out all starters.
With the first four games of the year on the road, the Legends will match that number with three more home games to equal a four game homestand. The next opponent lined up are the Santa Cruz Warriors, G League affiliate of Golden State, who come to town on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM CT.