Playing in front of a sold out crowd of more than 3600, The Wisconsin Herd won a thrilling home opener over the Iowa Wolves 116-109 behind a strong performance by Gary Payton II and the debut Herd performance of 2017 Bucks first round pick D.J. Wilson (24 points).
An energetic crowd may have been the key sixth man of the game, contributing significant noise and excitement during a late game run that propelled the Herd to a 10 point lead that was enough to grab the win.
Payton II claimed two of the night’s highlights, including a stunning reverse alley-oop dunk and a 4th quarter high-flying rejection that helped to thwart a late Wolves comeback. Payton led the team with four steals, while adding four assists, six rebounds, and 15 points on 6-8 shooting.
Cliff Alexander provided a spark off the bench with 20 points and six rebounds.
Wolves players Melo Trimble and Amile Jefferson both notched double-doubles for Iowa. Trimble led the team in scoring with 27 points and 11 assists in 46 minutes. Jefferson netted 23 points and pulled in 17 rebounds in 40 minutes.
The Menominee Nation Arena offered comfortable seats with good court views throughout the entire arena. Fans were treated to a pre game presentation and performance by the Menominee Nation and a halftime show by Julie’s Touch of Silver. Fans could grab locally crafted beer from Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones, along with multiple other concession options.
The Herd heads to Grand Rapids on Monday, Dec. 4 to square off against the Drive before returning to Menominee Nation Arena for a three-game homestand beginning Dec. 6. The Herd is now 7-3 and sitting second in the G League Central Division behind the league leading Fort Wayne Mad Ants (8-1).
banner photo and top Herd photos by Adam Jungwirth