Sono ‘ace guard’ Lee Jung-hyun’s ’26-point’ solo performance

Professional basketball’s Goyang Sono extended its winning streak to two games for the second time this season, ending Anyang Jeonggwanjang’s seven-game winning streak at home.

The Sono, led by head coach Kim Seung-ki, won 86-82 at home against the 2023-2024 Jeong Kwan-jang Pro Basketball League at Goyang Sono Arena on Nov. 28.

With the win, SONO (6-8) closed the gap on the sixth-place Ulsan Hyundai Mobis (7-8) to 0.5 games. Meanwhile, fifth-ranked Jung Kwan-jang (9-7) dropped their second straight game against Sono, while suffering their third straight defeat.

“It feels good to win back-to-back games,” Kim said after the match. We’ll challenge for a 5 percent win rate in the remaining games of the second round.” “Our team play has been improving since Onuaku joined us,” said Kim.

It was a match both teams were confident of winning.

While Sono was bolstered by the addition of Chinanu Onuaku (18 points, 7 rebounds), the Chungs were bolstered by the return of Omari Spellman (3 points) after shaking off a stress fracture in his shin.

When the lid was lifted, it was Sono’s turn to shine with guard Lee Jung-hyun (pictured), who has established himself as a top ace. Lee finished with a combined 26 points and 10 assists, including three 3-pointers, after penetrating the defense of Jung Hyo-geun (202 cm – 13 points, seven rebounds), who was taller than him.

He shot an incredible 8-of-9 from the field until the third quarter, when Sono pulled away. He overcame his height disadvantage by being smart enough to open up outside shooting opportunities for teammates Jeon Sung-hyun (8 points) and Kim Min-wook (12 points) when the spotlight was on him.

Sono went on a scorching run from the perimeter to Onuaku, pushing the lead to 13 points, 68-55, midway through the third quarter.

His importance to the team was evident in the crunch time of the fourth quarter when Lee Jung-hyun tired and Sono took over. In the meantime, they were down 80-79 with 8:23 to go, thanks to eight points from Jung Kwan-jang and Kim Kyung-won.

Free throws were the difference between victory and defeat. With Sono leading 82-79 with 25.4 seconds left in the game, Lee Jung-hyun hit two free throws at the rim. This was compared to Spellman’s missed free throws earlier in the game. SONO was chased down in the closing minutes when Park Ji-hoon (19 points) hit a three-pointer, but Choi Hyun-min (2 points) broke through the opponent’s foul play and hit a wedge to seal the victory.

Chung was disappointed that his trusted foreign players were held to six points. Spellman, still recovering from injury, was limited to three points, as was Darryl Monroe.


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