Thomas returns to boost Vikings past Cougars
By Erik Erickson, Seattle Pro-Am reporter
Ballislife Viking point guard Isaiah Thomas needed just 28 shots to pour in a game-high 47 points, leading his team to a 120-94 victory over The Stranger Cougars.
Thomas connected on 17/28 field goals, including 7/12 on three-pointers, to lead the Vikings their third win of the season.
“I’m a scorer,” Thomas said. “I was hitting some shots, my teammates were finding me and we just played the right way. We got a good win today.”
Thomas quickly erased a five point Cougar first quarter lead, connecting on three longballs as the Vikings exploded for a 40 point second quarter. The Vikings finished the first half 8/16 from downtown and 58.1% from the field, using a 20-2 run to take a 65-39 lead into the half.
“I’ve been working the last few weeks on my jumpshot. To come out here and show that I can shoot was pretty good. I felt good about my jumper today.”
Thomas continued his hot shooting into the third quarter, this time using the two-pointer. Thomas finished the third period with 17 points, connecting on five two-pointers.
Thomas was boosted in the backcourt by fellow guards Marcus Bradford and Marcus Tibbs. Bradford finished the game 8/9 from the field for 20 points and five rebounds, his second straight game with twenty or more points.
Tibbs knocked down two three-pointers on way to a 12 point, two rebound and two assist performance.
“They helped us a lot,” Thomas said on the play of his teammates. “It was definitely a team game even though I scored a lot of points everybody contributed and it was a team effort today.”
The Cougars took a five point first quarter lead thanks to strong play from center Aziz N’Diaye. N’Diaye used a newly form jump shot to his advantage, finishing the quarter with 12 points.
But foul trouble plagued N’Diaye in both halves as he was only on the court for 20 minutes. N’Diaye picked up his third foul early in the second quarter, forcing him to sit for most of the period. Then he picked up two fouls early in the third period and eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter.
The former UW center finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“Its tough because he’s seven foot, a guy that can block shots and he shrinks the floor. When you go in the paint you got to know where he is at because he can block your shot. On offense he has developed a jump shot so its tough to guard him.
With N’Diaye on the bench, the Cougars looked to guards Alvin Snow and Garrison Carr to carry the scoring load. The two combined to knock down 11 of their team’s 13 three-pointers. Snow finished with 30 points and six rebounds and Carr added 23 points.
Evan Matteson added his fifth straight double-double, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Vikings. Tyler Amaya collected a game-high 11 rebounds and scored six points.
“We just played together,” Thomas said. “That’s what I tell my guys every time we go out there, …Lets play together and try to play the right way.”
Reach reporter Erik Erickson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Erik_Erickson