Charge Set Record in Win Over Mad Ants

The Canton Charge set a new franchise record for fewest points allowed in a game in their 78-69 victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at the Civic Center on Monday night. The previous opponent franchise low of 80 was achieved twice this season in Charge wins. Canton improved their record to 15-10 while Fort Wayne drops to 11-13. Canton has now won nine of their last 11 games.

The game was knotted at 22-22 after the first quarter, as the Charge shot just 33% from the floor but grabbed nine offensive rebounds that they parlayed into 14 second chance points. Canton stepped up their offensive efficiency in the second quarter, hitting 11-of-23 shots for 48% and 23 points. The Charge also locked down defensively on the Mad Ants in the second, allowing just 13 points on 5-of-20 shooting from the floor and taking a 45-35 lead into intermission. Fort Wayne’s 13 second quarter points were a new season low for a Canton opponent.

After a fairly even third quarter, Canton held a 61-52 advantage heading into the game’s final 12 minutes. The Mad Ants made a push midway through the quarter by cutting Canton’s lead down to three, but the Charge immediately ripped off a 5-0 run to push their lead back to 71-63. Fort Wayne wouldn’t quit, fighting for a 6-1 run and cutting the Charge’s lead down to three again with 2:13 to go. The home team then forced six-consecutive misses on the defensive end while finishing on a 6-0 run to put the game away.

Fresh off of his assignment earlier this afternoon, Kevin Jones came and scored 25 points on 12-of-25 shooting with 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 40 minutes for his fifth double-double in just six games with Canton this season. JaJuan Johnson came off the bench to provide 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in 25 minutes. Kyle Gibson added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes. Jorge Gutierrez scored seven points with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in 28 minutes.

Fort Wayne was led by Anthony Richardson’s 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals in 38 minutes. Luke Harangody had a double-double of 11 points and ten rebounds in 33 minutes. Anthony Harris poured in 10 points with nine rebounds and two steals in 44 minutes. Off the bench, Tommy Smith scored seven points with eight rebounds and three blocks in 24 minutes. Fort Wayne outrebounded Canton 56-51 in the game. The Mad Ants’ 31% shooting from the floor on 27-of-87 attempts was also a Charge opponent franchise low for field goal percentage in a game.

Canton will next head to Des Moines for a meeting with the Iowa Energy on Friday, January 25th at 8:00 p.m. The Charge will next be at home on Saturday, January 26th at 7:30 p.m. against the Energy for Cavs Night. The game will feature a commemorative t-shirt giveaway presented by the Ohio Lottery, appearances from the entire Cavs game entertainment crew as well as Cavs legends Larry Nance, Bobby “Bingo” Smith and more! Tickets start as low as $7 and fans can receive more information by heading HERE.

POSTGAME QUOTES

CHARGE HEAD COACH ALEX JENSEN

(On tonight's game): “Anytime we shoot 37 percent as a team and win you have to feel good. The defense was really good, the guys played hard. I think that’s the most offensive rebounds we’ve given up was 20 tonight. If we are shooting in the mid-thirties and still won the game, we are doing something right. There are a lot of things we have to get better at offensively. I think the guys played hard. The last couple games at the end, we locked down got the stops and rebounds to get the win, so I give our guys all the credit in the world. I think Fort Wayne did a good job, they just came off a long road trip and that’s really hard. JaJuan (Johnson) was seeing the ball and made a good play (down the stretch). I give all of our guys credit.”

(On reaching the halfway mark of the season): “I think we’ve gotten a lot better since the beginning. Obviously after tonight, we won which is great, but there are a lot of things we can improve on. I’m pleased. There are like one or two games that we didn’t deserve to win, but we won. There are at least four or five that we totally beat ourselves with leads in the fourth quarter. Then again, you don’t dwell on that. You remember it and take it and not make the same mistakes.”

F JAJUAN JOHNSON

(On getting the win despite the team shooting under 40 percent): “There are going to be nights like this and the biggest thing was that we hung in there defensively. Our team really played hard and stuck together even though the buckets weren’t falling. We hung in on our defensive end and that’s what really got us this win.”

(On playing against his old team): “I was just excited to play against Fort Wayne and to see familiar faces. Obviously, you want to play good. It’s one of those things where I think I’m going to start getting more comfortable with these guys and the offense. Hopefully, it just doesn’t stop here.”

Fans can stay up-to-date on team news by following the team @CantonCharge on Twitter here and on Facebook here.