Sellout Crowd Sees Charge Fall to D-Fenders

The Canton Charge (25-18) were defeated at the hands of the Los Angeles D-Fenders (25-15), 130-98, in front of a sellout crowd of 3,942 at the Memorial Civic Center for Fan Appreciation Night. The Charge faithful were rewarded for their loyalty with $1,000s worth of prizes and giveaways all night long.

A night after the D-Fenders hit eight of their first 13 attempts from three-point range in the first quarter, Canton limited the visitors to just 2-of-13 in the opening 12 minutes and 8-of-26 overall (31%). The Charge pounded the ball down low for 16 points in the paint to start the game and pulled ahead for a 21-20 lead.

After four ties and three lead changes throughout the second and the game tied at 38-38 with 5:02 left in the half, Los Angeles got hot and rolled off a 16-0 run over a span of 4:36 for their largest lead of the game at 54-38. Canton hit their final two attempts of the half after missing their previous nine during that run to trail 54-42 at intermission.

The D-Fenders took the momentum and ran, scoring 76 points in the second half on 25-of-41 shooting (61%) and 9-of-15 from three-point range (60%). Canton got great effort off the bench from Re’mon Nelson and William Buford in the second half, as each player scored 15 points in relief.

Canton was led by Olek Czyz’s second double-double of the year with 14 points and a season-high 15 rebounds in 30 minutes. Kyrylo Fesenko added 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while Cavaliers assignment Sergey Karasev contributed seven points, nine rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes. The Charge got a huge boost from their reserves with 51 bench points in tonight’s game.

Shawne Williams poured in 34 points with seven rebounds in 34 minutes to lead Los Angeles. James Southerland netted 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting with eight boards in 26 minutes off the bench. C.J. Williams added 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting with five rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes.

POSTGAME QUOTES

HEAD COACH STEVE HETZEL

(On tonight's game):“They’re a high-powered offensive team. We struggled mightily defensively. I thought our inability to put the ball in the basket started to weigh heavily on us mentally. We couldn’t turn it around and start making our own luck by playing harder. It’s just one of those things that snowballed into a big mess. For us, we have got to pick up the pieces. We have a long week of practice and we have got to get better. There’s no time, room or reason why we should be feeling sorry for ourselves. We have had a great season up to this point. We can’t let a bad weekend affect that. We have got to keep pushing forward.”

(On if his coaching philosophies change with player movement):“We still want to be a defensive team, I’m not going to change that by any means. It’s definitely hard when you have got new pieces for everybody to be on the same page right away, but that’s my job, the staff’s job and the players’ job to buy-in this week in practice and the short amount of time that we have. We have to make it happen to the best of our ability. Things like this happen across the board in sports with injuries, it’s just more prevalent in this league. Like we said all along, we want this to happen when our guys move on to better things and we have to be prepared to move forward ourselves.”

F SERGEY KARASEV

(On his time in Canton on assignment):“I’m definitely enjoying this time. We have a pretty good team and the guys are very good teammates. Now, we have the week to prepare for the last games, so we’re going to work in practice. We have the chance to go to the playoffs and I think if we can forget all the injuries and just be who we think we can be, we can go really, really (far) and play for the championship. Now, we must play like a team and go back to work.”

Canton will finish the 2013-14 campaign with six of their final seven games on the road, beginning with an East Division matchup with the Springfield Armor on Friday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. For tickets, game day promotions and links to live stats and YouTube game streams, head to www.CantonCharge.com. Fans can sign-up to be a Charge Insider for breaking news and exclusive offers at www.CantonCharge.com/insider.

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.