GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Zeke Upshaw scored 25 points off the bench and hit seven three-pointers as the Grand Rapids Drive (5-8) defeated the Lakeland Magic (6-4) by a 90-80 final at home on Thursday night.
The Drive snapped a franchise record eight-game losing streak with the win. Derek Willis (Arapaho/Pawnee) added 15 points for Grand Rapids and Speedy Smith had 14 points and nine assists.
Khem Birch had an outstanding game for Lakeland, scoring 20 points with 16 rebounds for the game’s only double-double. He was also 9-of-12 from the field. Jamel Artist added 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Drive gained a five-point halftime lead after outscoring the Magic 23-15 in the second quarter. 41-36 was the halftime score in a somewhat slow paced game, and the Drive moved their lead into double figures shortly into the third and were not hugely threatened from there. The 80 points given up was a season low for Grand Rapids, beating the 83 from their season opener.
The Magic got all five of their starters in double figures but managed only 13 bench points, a number Upshaw nearly doubled by himself. Neither team shot the ball particularly well, but Grand Rapids shot a respectable 35 percent from three-point range and held the Magic to 23 percent.
The Drive’s next game is a rematch of their season opener against the Erie BayHawks on the road tomorrow.