The Reno Bighorns (11-19) fell to the Iowa Energy (7-21) 106-104 Wednesday night at the Reno Events Center.
Pe’Shon Howard led the Bighorns with 29 points and three assists as Reggie Hearn notched 19 points and seven rebounds. Sacramento Kings Assignment Player Georgios Papagiannis followed Hearn closely scoring 18 points and grabbing four rebounds.
Cartier Martin paced the Energy with 24 points and eight rebounds while Wayne Selden and Wade Baldwin poured in 20 points each.
After a tight first quarter, the Energy led by one, 30-29. Howard led all scorers in the first frame, netting 15 of his 29 points on 6-7 shooting.
The head-to-head battle carried through to a tightly-contested second frame with the Bighorns winning the quarter 26-23. Neither team led by more than four points in the frame, despite the quarter seeing five lead changes and three ties. The Bighorns went into the locker room at the half leading the Energy 55-53.
The Bighorns held a nine-point lead over the Energy after going on a 9-2 run behind a triple from Hearn in the opening two minutes of the third quarter. The Bighorn would not relinquish the lead in the frame, despite the Energy edging the Bighorns by one twice in the frame. The Bighorns held a one-point advantage over the Energy to enter the final quarter.
Baldwin stepped to the line after being fouled by Howard in the opening seconds of fourth quarter, tying the score at 78. The Bighorns pulled away by four points at the 10:23 mark. The two teams exchanged the lead five times and tied four times in nine minutes with the Bighorns having a 104-103 lead with 54.4 left in play. Martin, Selden and Wes Washpun both went to the line after being fouled to make one-point each to retake control of the lead. The Bighorns would in-bound the ball with .8 left in play but would not get a shot off in time, giving the Energy a 106-104 victory.
The Bighorns will host the Salt Lake City Stars on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.