Zae Averages 19.5 PPG and 9.0 RPG; Turnovers, Poor Shooting Cost Charlotte
Coming on the heels of an unbelievable comeback win one night earlier, Hornets Venom GT proved no match for a staunch Jazz Gaming squad, falling 0-2 and bowing out of THE TURN Tournament on Friday night.
Hornets Venom got off to a strong start in Game 1, taking a 22-11 lead early on in the second quarter. Utah responded though and eventually pulled ahead by one heading into the fourth. Still leading 62-61 at the 2:40 mark, guard Kimanni “Splashy” Ingram scored five straight points to kick off a 14-6 game-ending run to give Utah a 76-67 victory.
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Guard Justin “Snubby” Stemerman finished with an impressive 33 points, seven assists and four steals for Hornets Venom, although also had 13 turnovers, while center Zaeya “Zae” Ishak added 16 points, six rebounds and seven steals. Splashy (30 points and 10 assists) and center Spencer “Ria” Wyman (12 points and 10 rebounds) each had double-doubles for the victors.
Much like their regular season meeting with Jazz Gaming back in June, a tough Game 1 loss carried over into Game 2 for Hornets Venom as the squad fell behind fast and early. Already holding a 20-7 lead after the opening frame, Utah outscored Charlotte, 35-13, in the second quarter, and easily cruised to a 96-57 win and a berth in THE TURN Final Four.
Zae had 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in Game 2, while forward Gio “Trap” Elizondo (career-high 18 points) and guard Alex “Expose” Whelan (11) also scored in double figures. Splashy (23), forward Shaka “YeahICompete” Browne (23) and Ria (20) all crossed the 20-point mark for host Jazz Gaming.
Averaging just 9.8 turnovers per game in the regular season coming into the weekend, Hornets Venom combined for an uncustomary 36 giveaways over the two-outing span. Charlotte also shot just 54 percent from the field compared to Jazz Gaming, which connected on a red-hot 70 percent of its field-goal attempts (23-of-36 from three; 64 percent)
Hornets Venom – which did take home $11,200 for its finish in THE TURN – now returns to regular season play and will face Hawks Talon GC on Tuesday, July 28 beginning at 7 PM EST. Watch the game on ESPN mobile, Twitch.TV/NBA2KLeague or YouTube Gaming.
by Sam Perley