CINCINNATI -- BayRunners coach Terry Truax said his team had been playing with more focus over the last week.
The Cincinnati Stuff knocked things out of whack last night and emphatically ended the BayRunners' four-game winning streak. Alex Sanders scored a career-high 35 points in a 118-100 win at Firstar Center.
Their nightmarish 17-46 season ends tomorrow with a 7: 30 p.m. at Baltimore Arena against the Trenton Stars. East Division champion Cincinnati awaits the winner of the Trenton-Richmond Rhythm first-round playoff series.
"I think the schedule finally caught up with us," Truax said.
With any playoff hopes long gone, Rodney Harrell talked about the professional experience in general.
"I can't even describe the experience, but it's one to remember," said Harrell, who led the BayRunners with 20 points.
Guard Shawnta Rogers, who was next with 15, was a bit more emotional. "I'm mad we didn't make the playoffs," Rogers said. "We've got one more win to get."
In losing their 10th game in 12 against Cincinnati, the BayRunners followed a familiar script -- stay close for about four minutes, fall behind by the end of the quarter and never become a factor the rest of the night.
Harrell's bucket with 7: 10 left in the first quarter (he finished the first half with 16 points) cut the Stuff lead to 13-12, but a 22-8 Cincinnati run over the final seven minutes pushed its lead to 35-20 at the end of the first quarter.
Cincinnati (42-20) dominated the quarter in shooting (15-for-21 to the BayRunners' 7-for-15), rebounding (11-7) and assists (11-3). It was the same pattern in the second quarter. Cincinnati extended its lead to 45-25 on Allen Edwards' field goal, and the BayRunners never came closer than 14 the rest of the half.
It just got worse for Baltimore in the second half. Cincinnati had a 98-71 lead with 12 minutes to go, and Harrell scored just four more points the rest of the game.
"Sanders got a lot of stuff easy in the first half," Truax said. "[Tremaine] Fowlkes made some tough shots."
Truax would like to see what he could do with the BayRunners for a whole season. "We have new management," he said. "I hope it works out."