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By Dave Loveton
Director of Media Relations

dave@losangeleslightning.net

Game 16 – Gary Steelheads 109, L.A. Lightning 92

Friday, June 13, 2008

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Lightning can’t keep up with Gary

  Steelheads ride big 2nd quarter to 109-92 win  

 GARY, Ind. – Former L.A. Clipper Keith Closs scored 19 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots in his L.A. Lightning debut on Friday but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 109-92 loss to the Gary Steelheads.

 Closs, a 7-foot-3 center, had 12 points and six rebounds in the opening quarter of the IBL basketball game at the Genesis Center. His two free throws at the 2:41 mark gave L.A. its last lead at 21-20.

 Gary (16-4) outshot the visitors 60 to 33 percent in the second period of a physical game and outscored them 29-15 to take a 58-43 halftime lead.

 L.A. trailed by 21 early in the final period before pulling to within 14 (93-79) with a 9-2 run that featured seven points by newcomer A.J. Diggs. Following a timeout, the Steelheads scored six of the next seven points to boost the lead back to 19.

 Gary won the shooting battle 48.3 to 39 percent and outrebounded L.A. by 21 (62-41), including 21-11 at the offensive end.

 Fred Vinson scored 18 points and Greg Minor had 11 for the Lightning (7-9), which played its second straight game without Lamond Murray and Toby Bailey. Murray is the IBL’s fourth-leading scorer (26.5) and top rebounder (12.2) while Bailey averages 19.4 points. Center Ronell Mingo picked up three first-half fouls and tallied 11 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with five minutes to play.

 Benson Callier scored 25 points with eight rebounds for the Steelheads, who won for the seventh time in eight games. Royce Parran added 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

 Gary has the second-best record in the East Conference, behind the two-time defending IBL champion Elkhart (Ind.) Express (17-1). The Lightning (7-9) play at Elkhart on Saturday night before completing its four-game road trip at Battle Creek, Mich., on Sunday.