February 6, 2016
CHICAGO – The 0-3 Gateway Steam figured to be huge underdogs coming into the Kroc Center to take on the 5-0 Windy City Groove Saturday afternoon.
But, as they say, that’s why they play the games.
The Steam prevailed in a physical game 96-86 over the host Groove by using a swarming defense that limited Windy City’s explosive athletes to their lowest point total of the year.
Windy City jumped out to an early 11-1 lead, but after a Milton Stith timeout midway through the quarter, Gateway turned up the defensive intensity and sparked an 8-0 run. Windy City finished the first quarter ahead 19-13.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Brent Schuck tied the game at 19 with 10:18 to play in the second quarter, and a Connell Crossland layup a moment later gave the Steam their first lead of the game at 21-19. Schuck hit two more threes in the quarter, as Gateway pushed the lead to eight points before the Groove closed to five at 44-39 at halftime. Schuck finished the half with 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from three-point range.
Gateway was unable to pull away in the third, and with 3:26 to play in the quarter, Windy City tied the game at 60 on an Isaac Mack three-point play. Julian Lewis gave the Groove the lead on a pair of free throws on the next possession, and the Groove took a 73-69 lead into the fourth.
A Jordan Johnson three-pointer gave the Groove a 78-73 lead with 9:48 to play, but a 7-1 run by the Steam gave Gateway the lead back 80-79 with 7:58 left. Mack again tied the game at 81 with 4:50 remaining, and then an Anthony Goode three pointer on the ensuing possession put the Steam up for good with 4:24 to play.
Goode finished with 18 points to lead the Steam, as six Gateway players finished in double figures scoring. Julian Lewis led Chicago with 20 points and 10 rebounds.