Give and Go
By Erie Times-News Sports Erie Times-New staff bloggers
The Erie Times-News sports staff delivers in-depth coverage of the Erie BayHawks and pro and college basketball   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘New Mexico Thunderbirds’
Posted: February 13th, 2011

Tasheed Carr, front, and Blake Ahearn combined for a key play in Erie's 120-115 win Sunday against New Mexico.

It was looking bleak for the Erie BayHawks on Sunday afternoon against the New Mexico Thunderbirds

Their best player, Ivan Johnson, was on the bench with five fouls for most of the third quarter and the BayHawks watched their 15-point lead evaporate.

Erie  led 70-55 when its first-year coach, Jay Larranaga, took Johnson out after Johnson picked up his fifth foul with 9 minutes, 52 seconds left in the third.

From that point, the Thunderbirds outscored the BayHawks, 31-11, to take a 86-81 lead with 57 seconds left in the quarter. Shane Edwards had finally showed up for the Thunderbirds as the 2011 D-League All-Star forward had 14 points in the quarter.

In New Mexico’s previous two games at Erie in this three-game series, Edwards had 13 points total.

So the Thunderbirds (14-21) had a five-point lead with the ball when Erie (23-9) turned the tables on them.

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Posted: February 12th, 2011

“I’m more upset about missing a free throw than being happy about dunking,” said Erie BayHawks point guard Blake Ahearn after seeing his streak of consecutive free throws made end at 57 Saturday night against the New Mexico Thunderbirds.

Erie point guard Blake Ahearn missed a rare free throw in Saturday's 123-105 win against New Mexico.

It rolled off the rim.

Those things just don’t happen when Blake Ahearn shoots a free throw.

In Saturday’s 123-105 home win for the Erie BayHawks past the New Mexico Thundebirds, Ahearn missed a free throw after making 57 straight from the line since joining the team in late December.

The all-time leader in free-throw shooting percentage in NCAA Division I history at 94.6 percent, Ahearn is now 60-of-61 from the line this season.

So even though the former Missouri State star had a rare dunk that sent the BayHawk bench in a frenzy, he’s still a bit peeved about missing that rare free throw.

“”I’m more upset about missing a free throw than being happy about dunking,” Ahearn said. “But it’s the same thing everybody talks about. You miss one, start a new streak.”

The BayHawks are still streaking, though.

Erie won its seventh consecutive game Saturday night to improve to 22-9. Last season, Erie went 21-29 for the entire season. Now 11-1 at Tullio Arena this season, Erie has won 10 consecutive home games.

A win Sunday against New Mexico at Tullio Arena would match Erie’s longest win streak ever. As an expansion franchise, the BayHawks won eight consecutive games from Jan 30 through Feb. 26 in 2008-09.

Posted: February 10th, 2011

“I already know. They’re going to come back harder. We’ve got to come back harder at them.” – Erie BayHawks forward Ivan Johnson on how he expects the New Mexico Thunderbirds to respond Saturday after losing 125-100 to the BayHawks on Thursday night at Tullio Arena.

Coach Darvin Ham is not pleased with his team's play of late./Photo by Layne Murdoch

Head coach Darvin Ham sure hopes his Thunderbirds will come out  harder than they did Thursday night.

Ham is largely known for having shattered a backboard on a dunk while at Texas Tech, but he was an undersized power forward (6-7, 220) who played eight NBA seasons and was with the Detroit Pistons when they won the 2004 NBA title.

“I had a big chip on my shoulder which I still have to this day,” he said. “People tell me I’m not going to be an NBA player. OK. I was an NBA player. You’re not going to be successful. I won a championship. You’re not going to be able to do analysis work on TV. I did that. You’re not going to become a head coach. I became that. I just love the challenges. That feeds me. The naysayers feed me.”

Now he’s trying to get New Mexico to play with that same ferocity. The Thunderbirds will carry a four-game losing skid into Saturday’s 7 p.m. game at Tullio Arena. Here’s what a disappointed Ham had to say after having a 30-plus minute talk with his team in the visitor’s locker room at Tullio Arena after Thursday night’s 25-point loss.

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Posted: February 7th, 2011

Loren Stokes

Loren Stokes, 27, has played three games for the Erie BayHawks since they acquired him out of the D-League player pool, but each game has been on the road. He’s averaging five points, four assists and shooting 75 percent (6-of-8) from the field.

So the 6-foot, 3-inch combo guard out of Hofstra will make his home debut for the BayHawks (20-9) on Thursday when Erie takes on the New Mexico Thunderbirds (14-18) at Tullio Arena.

Here are some highlights of Stokes playing overseas.

Along with Stokes, Reggie Holmes will make his Erie debut Thursday. Erie snagged the 6-4 guard from Morgan State out of the D-League player pool. Averaging 21.8 points as a senior, Holmes was the 2010 MEAC Player of the Year.

Erie now has full roster of 10 players so if Garrett Temple returns to the team, Erie the BayHawks must cut a player. Temple is in his second 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

If Milwaukee wants to keep Temple after the second 10-day contract expires, it must sign him for the rest of the season. He’s played in seven games for the Bucks and is averaging 2.1 points a game.

Posted: February 6th, 2011

The Erie BayHawks continue to roll with a 111-106 win at Texas against the Legends (16-15) on Sunday afternoon.

Winners of its last five games, Erie (20-9) became the fifth team in the D-League this season to reach 20 wins. Blake Ahearn lead the BayHawks with 31 points Sunday, but a key guy in this stretch has been Tasmin Mitchell.

In Erie’s last three wins, Mitchell has averaged 26.3 points. He matched his career high of 28 points in Sunday’s win. Because Ivan Johnson  has gotten into his share of foul trouble in recent games, Mitchell has gotten more minutes and taken advantage of that.

Erie returns to action Thursday with a three-game home stint against the New Mexico Thunderbirds, a team that beat the BayHawks twice at their place earlier this season. The Thunderbirds (14-18) aren’t the same team they were earlier in the season as they’ve lost three straight.

Posted: January 13th, 2011
Erie BayHawks (14-7) at Maine Red Claws (10-12)

Friday, 8 p.m., Portland Expo, Portland, ME
▀  On the air: WJET-AM 1400;

Players to watch
▀  Erie —  PF Ivan Johnson (Team’s leading scorer at 17.9 points a game.  In two games in the NBA D-League Showcase, Johnson followed up a nine-point effort in a win against Idaho to score 25 in a loss to Rio Grande Valley. … SG Garrett Temple (Scored just five points on 2-of-11 shooting against his former team in Erie’s 124-106 loss to defending D-League champion Rio Grande Valley. The Vipers traded Temple to Erie for rookie PF Jeff Adrien late last month. PF Kyle Goldcamp (The former Gannon standout matched his season high for points in a game with 14 against the Vipers. He’s scored 14 points three times this season.

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Posted: December 6th, 2010

The Erie BayHawks have dropped to 3-3 on the season after losing back-to-back games at New Mexico (4-1) against the Thunderbirds, who have won four straight games. Erie resumes play Tuesday at Utah (4-3).

Erie picked up a technical foul in each of its two losses to New Mexico to up its total to nine on the season.

Power forward Ivan Johnson was called for his third technical of the season in Friday’s game and first-year BayHawks coach Jay Larranaga got called for his first technical foul of the season in Saturday’s game.

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