The Hawks had the late night game on Sunday, playing the Miami Heat’s summer squad. There was a decent amount of excitement in the Cox Pavilion preparing to watch the rookie duo of Schröder and Nogueira again, and they weren’t disappointing.
In the first quarter the Hawks offense got off to a very slow starting, not scoring their first field goal until Sergiy Gladyr hit a three with 4:56 left. Up to that point, the team was getting solid play from the defense. Schröder was swarming, forcing the opposing point guards into coughing the ball up. The looks the team had been getting were open, but the scoreboard still said 9-1. The Gladyr three took the lid off the rim however, as it led to the Hawks scoring 11 points in the last 5 minutes to be down 16-12.
There was finally a pay off in the second quarter from the control Schröder was exonerating on the offense, as the team tied the game up with 6:00 left on a John Jenkins three. This also was the catalyst to Jenkins’ offensive game, as before then he looked very rushed in terms of the offense. John went on to make his next four shots, and finishing with 19 points on 6-14 shooting. The Hawks ended the half up 29-28, as the team scored a much better rate throughout the entire quarter.
The third quarter started on defense much where the first half left off. Schröder forced two quick turnovers which pushed the lead to five points. A story line in both games has been Dennis’ defensive footwork and on ball pressure. Getting his third and fourth steal 20 seconds within each other was just anecdotal of the way he harassed the opposing ball handler all night. Eric Dawson, who didn’t play in friday’s game, hit a jumper and blocked a Michael Dunigan layup in the third to add on top of the solid play he showed all night. Dawson finished with six points, four rebounds, and a block. He also had three turnovers, but the 29 year old journeyman was still a positive player in his minimal minutes. The team traded buckets for most the quarter though, and the score was 52-49 Hawks at the end of the quarter.
Unsurprisingly the fourth quarter started with more strong defensive play, as Mike Muscala notched his third block of the night. The second round selection out of Bucknell built off his strong play Friday finishing with 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The numbers weren’t flashy, but the defense he brought to the team while on the floor stood out. The fourth was much like the third quarter however, as the teams continued to go back and forth. Schröder and Mike Scott closed the game very well however, as Schröder tallied up three assists in the last 2:29 to finish with 8 and Scott scored 7 of the teams’ last 13 points. None of the points were bigger than the Schröder-assisted Scott three to break a 70-70 tie with 14.6 second left in the game. The Hawks defense followed up the clutch play by forcing their 29th turnover – the Heat ended the game with 30 – to seal the deal.
Scott scored the ball efficiently, as he finished with 13 points on 50% shooting from the field, and Dennis’ ball pressure was catalytic to the very high turnover’s by the opponent. Schröder may have only shot 4-12 from the field for 9 points, but his 4 steals, 8 assists, and just overall control of the game from start to finish made a very large impact on the game. The Hawks as a whole played really well. After shooting 23.5% from the field in the first, the team made the number constantly rise finishing with a 42.3% mark.
The team plays again tonight 10 EDT against the Spurs, and will hopefully come out of the gate faster by building off the strong finish Sunday.