Charge Edged by Toros
A late rally by the home team saw the Canton Charge fall to the Austin Toros, 96-94, at the Cedar Park Center in Texas on Thursday night. The loss puts Canton at 28-21 heading into tomorrow nightís regular season finale, while Austin improved to 18-31 to split the season series between the two teams, 1-1.
The Toros came out in the first quarter with binding team defense that limited the Charge to just six field goals on 20 attempts (30%) while protecting the basketball on the offensive end with just two turnovers for two points. Flip Murray netted 11 of Austin's 30 points in the opening stanza as they pulled ahead for a 31-18 lead heading into the second.
Canton bounced back in the second thanks in part to the strong play of their reserves unit, who scored 19 of the team's 30 points in the quarter. The Charge as a team hit 10-of-15 shots from the floor (67%) and 10-of-13 trips to the charity stripe (77%). Despite trailing by as many as 15 in the half, the visitors went into the locker room with the score knotted at 48-48.
With the game tied 54-54 and 8:18 left in the third, Austin rolled off a quick 9-0 run over 2:13 to go back ahead 63-54. Canton then immediately countered with a 17-2 run of their own to close the period that included scoring from five different players. The Charge cleaned the glass for 16 rebounds in the third along with forcing five turnovers for seven points, taking a 73-67 advantage into the fourth.
Canton scored the first five points of the fourth for their largest lead of the game at 78-67, but Austin then began to claw back by responding with an 8-0 run to pull within 78-75 with 7:53 left. The Charge repeatedly staved off the Torosí efforts for the next several minutes and found themselves leading 90-83 with 3:18 to play.
Austin hit five of their next six shots on a 9-2 run to knot the game at 92-92 with 1:18 remaining. Shane Edwards plowed through the lane for a dunk to put Canton back up on the ensuing possession, but the Toros responded with a Terrance Woodbury triple to go up 95-94 with 46 seconds left. Austin blocked shots on each of Cantonís final two possessions to seal the victory in their home finale.
Edwards led Canton with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and two steals in 29 minutes. After missing the last seven games with an injury, Arinze Onuaku returned to net 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting with 12 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season. Czyz finished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting with seven boards in 25 minutes. Kyrylo Fesenko posted his fourth double-double in the last five games with 10 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in 31 minutes.
Murray led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting with two steals in 43 minutes for Austin. Jonathan Simmons netted 16 points with nine rebounds and three steals in 43 minutes. Dexter Pittman added 12 points, six boards and four blocks in 26 minutes. Woodbury finished with 14 points in 26 minutes.
The Charge will wrap up the 2013-14 regular season on the road tomorrow night against the Tulsa 66ers at 8:00 p.m. The 2014 Canton Charge Playoffs are presented by Aultman/AultCare, the Canton Repository and FirstEnergy Solutions. Be a part of Charge history! Playoff tickets are on sale now and start at just $8! Tickets can be purchased at CantonCharge.com, Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 866-444-1944. For a Canton Memorial Civic Center seating chart, visit CantonCharge.com.
Stay up-to-date on team news by following the team at: @CantonCharge on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CantonCharge and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CantonCharge. Fans can get in the conversation throughout the teamís 2014 postseason run by using #3rdtimestheCharge.