Guided by Palinckx and Mbaye the hometeam got off to a strong start and when Lunguana also added 5 unanswered points Ieper had jumped ahead by 12, before a bucket by Vanthournout put the 18-8 score on the board at the end of the opening quarter.
In the second quarter Ieper continued with their strong play and further increased their lead to 20 points. With a three De Pooter cut the lead down to 17 to head into the half-time break with the 42-25 score.
Although Gent came out the locker-room poised to cut into the lead, Ieper still remained in control and were able to hold them off for the 57-43 score at the end of the third quarter.
And then came the turn-around. Unwilling to give up, Stevens placed a 0-7 run by himself to bring the Hawks back to within 8 points halfway the final quarter. Lunguana and Palinckx responded for Ieper but they couldn’t avoid another 0-8 run by the Hawks which cut the lead to 2 (69-67) headed into the final minute of the game.
Palinckx netted 1 of 2 FT’s to give Ieper the 3 point edge but a quick three by Penninck tied the game 70-70 with 18 seconds left to play. Van Impe then came away with a steal and had the game-winner for Gent within his reach but his shot went off and so we headed into overtime.
In overtime the momentum seemed to go to the Hawks as they build up a 4 point lead but a 3-point play by Devacht knocked the air out of them and it was Mertens and that same Devacht who then secured the hard-fought 80-78 win for the home-team.
Fineto Lunguana was our Player of the Game as he finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists & 2 steals in 23 minutes off the bench. Pape Mbaye recorded the 10 points & 10 rebounds Double-Double, while Robin Mestdagh (13 points), Kjell Devacht (12 points) and Mattias Palinckx (10 points) all ended up in double-figures as well for the winner. Ieper now holds a 2-0 record on the season.
In the losing effort it was again Joeri Vermoesen who led the Hawks as he recorded 14 points & 8 rebounds. Gregory De Pooter came off the bench to add 15 points, while Boris Penninck (14 points & 10 rebounds) and Giel Vanthournout (13 points) chipped in nicely as well. Stijn Stevens was crucial in the come-back and finished with 11 points & 6 assists. The Hawks are still looking for their first win of the season and currently have a 0-2 record.