Charge Get Back on Track With Win Over BayHawks
The Canton Charge ended a three-game losing skid with a 107-95 victory over the Erie BayHawks at the Memorial Civic Center on Sunday evening. Canton is now 5-0 against Erie this season and 9-4 overall, while the BayHawks dropped to 1-10.
After four ties and two lead changes, Erie pulled ahead at the end of the first quarter thanks in part to hitting 8-of-16 shots from the floor (50%) led by Ricky Davisí eight points and four rebounds. Canton was paced by Kevin Jonesí eight points on 4-of-7 shooting in the opening period.
With the BayHawks up 41-36 with 3:28 left in the half, the Charge made their move in a 12-0 run in the next 2:13 to take a 48-41 lead. Canton hit their final six attempts from the field and outscored Erie 15-4 down the stretch to take a 51-45 advantage into intermission. Every Charge player in uniform got in the scoring column in the first half, including nine in the second quarter.
Erie pulled back even midway through the third when down 56-50, they amassed a quick 10-4 run over a span of 2:57 to knot the game at 60-60. Canton responded by closing out the quarter with five different players hitting seven of their final 11 shots to pull ahead by double-digits at 78-68 heading into the final frame.
The Charge never trailed in the fourth, leading by as many as 18 points and not turning the ball over throughout the entire quarter. Canton found the bottom of the net by assisting seven of their 12 fourth quarter field goals on 21 attempts (57%). The Chargeís 27 assists were also a new season high.
Jones led the way for Canton with 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting with nine rebounds and one steal in 36 minutes. On assignment from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sergey Karasev tied his season high with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting and also surpassed season best marks in rebounds (5) and assists (5) in 34 minutes. Shane Edwards came off the bench to add 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting and four rebounds in an efficient 19 minutes. Six Charge players scored double-digit points in the game, and their nine turnovers were also a new season low.
The BayHawks were paced by Davisí 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds in 40 minutes. Scott Suggs supplied 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting in 44 minutes of relief off the bench. Mustafa Shakur poured in 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting with four rebounds and five assists in 32 minutes. As a team, Erie hit 38-of-75 shots from the field (51%) while Canton went 44-of-85 as a unit overall (52%).
Canton Charge Head Coach Steve Hetzel
(On tonight's win): "I thought that everybody who played tonight contributed in a positive manner. Gilbert (Brown) was a good spark off the bench for us, Arinze (Onuaku) showed great patience in the post versus a double team. I thought we executed very well in the third quarter versus their double teams in the post. I thought we moved the ball well the entire game, and it showed in the stats with 27 assists. I thought we trusted the offense a little bit more. I'd like for our defense to be a little bit better; allowing a team to shoot 50% is not what we like, but we built a lead and we held on to a lead, so I'm happy with that."
(On forcing 21 Erie turnovers): "I think we just maintained our aggressiveness. Forcing turnovers isn't a big staple of ours defensively. We'd rather be a solid team and protect the paint, but we'll take turnovers, they lead to easy baskets."
(On Kevin Jones' play tonight): "I think the ball was just moving and it was finding him. We preach move the basketball or find the open man and he happened to be in the right place at the right time. He spaces the floor the correct way, gets around the basket, offensive rebounds, and KJ just plays the game the right way. I don't think he took any bad shots, they were all good, quality shots and that results in made baskets."
Canton Charge F Gilbert Brown
(On his play in tonight's win): "It felt great. Going through what I went through during training camp and then coming back and re-injuring myself was tough, but throughout the whole process I stayed positive. Just to have the opportunity to come into the game today made a positive impact here for me."
(On tonight's win before going on the road): "It's a huge win for us. Not because of the road trip, but because of the slide we took with the last three losses in a row. I think it was a good getting back on the winning track into the road trip. I think in those last games, we failed to execute and close out games, having large leads and playing into the opposing teamís hands. I think it was big for us to finish a game and finish with a double-digit lead."
The Charge begin a stint of eight consecutive games away from home when they visit the west coast and the Bakersfield Jam on Thursday, January 2nd at 10:00 p.m. Fans can follow all of the action with live stats and a live YouTube stream of the game on www.CantonCharge.com. Fans can sign-up to be a Charge Insider for breaking news and exclusive offers at www.CantonCharge.com/insider.