Under the Boards
Week-in-Review: After sweeping the Erie BayHawks last weekend, the Charge were off the remainder of the week, but will ramp it up again this weekend with a home-and-road back-to-back against Fort Wayne on the docket.
Last weekend, the Charge built two big leads before allowing Erie back into each game. But in the end, it was Canton that improved to an East Division best 8-1 while keeping Erie winless on the season.
Charge big man Erinze Onuaku was all but unstoppable over the weekend – going 21-of-24 from the floor. But his missed chippy late in the action on Sunday allowed Erie to come back and tie the affair. After a back-and-forth exchange, Charge guard Jorge Gutierrez spun home a runner with under ten seconds to play to give Canton the 106-104 win in front of 2.480 fans at the Memorial Civic Center.
Gutierrez finished with a game-high 12 assists in the win.
Friday night’s victory was a little less perilous. The Charge built a 20-point lead before some sloppy play in the fourth allowed Erie back into the affair. But Canton closed out the game on four straight free throws and Onuaku was simply too much for the BayHawks – finishing with a career-high 29 points, going 11-of-11 from the floor, with nine boards, a season-high three blocks and a steal in 28 minutes of action.
Did You Know: Former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun nicknamed Charge forward Rashad Anderson “The Dagger” because of his propensity to hit big shots at key moments of the game.
They Said It: “Canton takes care of all the little things. And they're a good team because of it.”
-Erie BayHawks Coach Gene Cross on how the Charge were able to top them twice in a tough weekend back-to-back
Stat of the Week: Over a three-game span, Charge center Arinze Onuaku hit 16 consecutive field goals. He canned his last three shots against Tulsa, all 11 shots against Erie in Friday’s game and his first two against the BayHawks on Saturday. At one point in the two games against Erie, Onuaku hit 18 of 20 shots. He leads Canton in scoring at 18.1 ppg and is shooting .676 from the floor.
Look Ahead: This weekend, the Charge take on the Mad Ants – in Canton on Saturday night and in Indiana on Sunday afternoon.
The Mad Ants are coming off a thrilling 117-115 win in Iowa – with Ron Howard hitting the game-winner at the buzzer.
Fort Wayne – the D-League affiliate of Memphis, Orlando, Charlotte, Milwaukee Detroit and Indiana – comes into the weekend trailing Canton in the East by 4.5 games. The weekend will feature three of the D-League’s top 30 prospects – No. 7, Arinze Onuaku, No. 14 Kevin Jones and No. 30, Ron Howard.
The two clubs will meet six times total this season – four games in Canton, two at Fort Wayne.
If you can’t make it to Canton on Saturday night, make sure to catch all the action with play-by-play man Scott Zurilla – (@ZManCavs) – on YouTube. Opening tip set for 7 p.m.