By Dave Loveton
Director of Media Relations
Game 1 (Friday, April 18)
-- Battle Creek 88, Lightning 77
misses mark in franchise debut
The L.A. Lightning couldn't find its shooting
touch in Friday's pro basketball opener and Battle Creek (Mich.) used a big
third quarter to post an 88-77 victory, spoiling the party-like atmosphere at
Cal Lutheran's Gilbert Sports Arena.
A crowd of 861 turned out for the Lightning's
debut in the International Basketball League.
Lamond Murray, an 11-year NBA veteran, scored
28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Lightning, who trailed 57-41 at
halftime. Murray hit 10-of-24 from the field and 5-11 from 3-point range but
his teammates converted just 25.4 percent (17-67).
Center Thomas Shewmake tallied nine points and
14 rebounds while Fred Vinson added 10. Shewmake (4-17) and Vinson (3-14) both
struggled from the floor with Vinson hitting just 2-9 from downtown.
Eric Smith scored 17 points for Battle Creek
(2-4), leading five players in double figures. Point guard Anthony Kyle had 15
points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Knights, who outshot the home
team, 44.6 to 29.7 percent.
The Lightning only managed two points in the
first six minutes of the third quarter and the visitors stretched the margin to
22 points, 65-43. L.A. roared back, behind the long-range shooting of Murray,
and pulled to within five, 76-71, on a trey by the ex-Clipper.
L.A. cut the deficit to four points, 78-74, on
a free throw by Shewmake with 6:45 remaining but the Knights regained control
with an 8-3 run.