Charge Fall to Red Claws in Maine

The Eastern Division leading Canton Charge (22-14) were defeated by the Maine Red Claws (15-20), 110-105, on Thursday night at the Portland Expo Building.

Shane Edwards led all scorers in the first quarter with 10 points for Canton on 5-6 shooting from the field. Chris Wright started off hot for Maine with nine points in the frame, and Abdul Gaddy added eight. The quarter ended on a Chris Babb buzzer-beating three, giving Maine a 30-24 edge after one.

Babb began the second quarter the same way he ended the first, knocking down a three-pointer as time expired on the shot clock. Over a 3:05 span from the end of the first through the beginning of the second, Maine scored 16 unanswered points to gain their largest lead of the night, 40-24. The Charge battled back from here, paced by Olek Czyzís 13 points to regain the lead with 3:09 remaining in the half. The teams traded baskets through the rest of the quarter, and Maine entered halftime with a 57-56 lead.

The third quarter belonged to Cantonís Kevin Jones, as he took charge by scoring 12 points on perfect shooting, 5-5 from the field and 2-2 from the foul line. The Charge outscored the Red Claws 30-23 in the quarter, entering the fourth on top 86-80.

Canton held the lead through a majority of the fourth, until a four-point play by Frank Gaines tied the game at 103-103 with 3:30 remaining in the contest. Jorge Gutierrez added a quick two to regain the lead, but a Babb three-pointer gave the Red Claws their first lead of the fourth. Maine extended their lead to finish with a 110-105 victory.

Jones led all scorers with 26 points and this third-straight game with a double-double, as he grabbed 15 rebounds. Gutierrez lit up the stat charts, recording 10 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Other Canton leaders include Czyz (23 points, six rebounds), Edwards (17 points) and Will Cherry (15 points).

Gaines paced the Red Claws with 25 points on the night, including 10 in the final quarter. Other top contributors were Chris Wright (20 points, seven rebounds, three blocks), Abdul Gaddy (19 points, eight assists), and Chris Babb (14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals).

The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at the Portland Expo at 7:00 p.m. For Charge 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.

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