MCHS alum Long excels in Melbourne win
Melbourne (Australia) United got off to a strong start against the Brisbane Bullets in front of a sold-out Melbourne Arena crowd Sunday, but the Bullets caught fire from deep to claim a road win.
The crowd of 10,300 marked back-to-back sell-outs for United and Melbourne’s fifth sold-out game of the season.
Morgan City High alum Shawn Long slammed home dunks and hit a three to help United jump out to an 11-point lead with two and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
The Bullets responded in the final minutes of the quarter to trim the deficit to 29-27 at the first break. Long’s 13 first-quarter points ensured Melbourne stayed in front.
The second quarter belonged to Jason Cadee, with the Brisbane guard catching fire from deep and recording 15 points in the quarter. Despite falling behind in the quarter, the play of Stanton Kidd — in his second game for United — was a highlight.
A Lamar Patterson buzzer-beater triple gave Brisbane a 55-51 lead at the main break.
United fought back in the opening stages of the third quarter, and when Mitch McCarron connected on a lay-up, the score was tied at 60-all after two and a half minutes of play.
While Melbourne fought back, Patterson ensured Brisbane regained the lead as he scored the Bullets’ first 11 points of the second half. With Brisbane connecting on six triples in the quarter, it entered the final term with an 80-75 lead.
With every push United made, the Bullets — through Patterson, Cadee and Nathan Sobey — had the answer.
Though, just as Brisbane looked to have pulled away, Kidd drained a triple for Melbourne, followed by two foul shots from Long, a Chris Goulding three and two from the charity stripe from McCarron to cut United’s deficit to 97-91, with 1:40 left on the clock.
However, the final couple of minutes didn’t go the way Melbourne wanted as Brisbane hit their free throws to eventually earn a 102-96 win.
Long (25 points, eight rebounds and four steals), Stanton Kidd (15 points, eight rebounds and two assists), Chris Goulding (16 points), Melo Trimble (nine points, seven assists and four rebounds) and Mitch McCarron (10 points and five rebounds) were led Melbourne.
Patterson (35 points and six rebounds) was a dominant force for Brisbane, while Sobey (24 points) and Cadee (21 points) had solid games, too.
The difference in the game was the three-point shooting, with the Bullets shooting 45% from deep and draining 16 triples, while Melbourne connected on 10 triples in 33 attempts.
With the loss, Melbourne falls to 10-9 on the season, with four road games up next, including a Saturday night match-up against Illawarra.
Melbourne’s next home game is on Jan. 29, against the Perth Wildcats in the Australian Open Game at Melbourne Arena.