Charge Victory Spoils D-League Debut For 87ers
The Canton Charge take their home opener in a 117-106 win over the Delaware 87ers in their first-ever NBA Development League game. Canton is now 2-0 both overall and in East Division play to start the season, while Delaware begins the year at 0-1.
The 87ers came out with an efficient offensive attack, hitting 11-of-19 shots from the field (58%). Michael Lee provided a spark for Canton off the bench with 10 points and three steals in the first period. After the game was tied 20-20 with 4:35 left , Delaware hit six of their final seven shots in a 16-8 run to take a 36-28 lead heading into the second.
Trailing by 10 with 7:05 left in the half, the Charge assembled a quick 11-0 run by forcing four turnovers and two misses consecutively to take a 51-50 lead. The final 3:51 saw three lead changes and a tie that was broken when Dustin Salisbery hit a 15-foot jumper with 1.9 seconds left to put the Sevens ahead 59-57 at the break.
Back and forth play was the theme of the third, with seven lead changes and five ties throughout the quarter. Trailing 79-78 with 1:39 left in the period, Canton forced four turnovers on the final five Delaware possessions en route to an 8-2 run that put the home team ahead 86-81 heading into the fourth.
After Bo Spencer hit three-straight three-pointers on consecutive possessions early in the fourth, the Charge pulled ahead by double-digits at the 7:57 mark when Antoine Agudio drilled a long distance jumper of his own. Canton led by as many as 18 points in the final quarter after that, never allowing Delaware to cut their deficit to less than single digits.
Spencer led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three-point range, and five assists in 30 minutes off the bench for the Charge. Michael Lee added 17 points, 11 rebounds and four steals in 33 minutes of relief for his second consecutive double-double to start the year. Kevin Jones netted 17 points with four rebounds and a steal in just 18 minutes of play. Antoine Agudio contributed an all-around effort of 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals in 43 minutes for Canton.
Steve Weingarten paced Delaware with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting with six rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes. Damian Saunders contributed a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes. Aquille Carr added 15 points for the Sevens. Delaware surrendered 27 team turnovers that resulted in 39 Canton points on the night.
CANTON CHARGE POSTGAME QUOTESHead Coach Steve Hetzel
(On the four consecutive three-point makes early in the fourth quarter): “That’s basketball, you just have to enjoy the moment. These are high-level basketball players. When they get it going, I believe in all my guys to make the shots.”
(On the play of Kevin Jones): “I’m amazed that he’s not on an NBA team right now. The things that win basketball games (he does). He rebounds the basketball, he’s efficient at around-the-rim scoring and he can knock down 15-foot jump shots.”G Bo Spencer
(On his effort in the game tonight): “They (the coaches) put the confidence in me to come in and make shots, take shots and be able to control the team, not only by scoring, but controlling the team as a leader and a point guard.”
(On his scoring streak in the fourth quarter): “That was a plus for me because I was feeling it and I knew I could knock those shots down. It’s just, overall, my coaches having the confidence in me and my teammates having the confidence in me to take and make those shots.”
The Charge are back in action at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Friday, November 29th at 7:00 p.m. against the Springfield Armor, with tickets starting as low as $7! The contest features postgame free throws and $1 hot dogs presented by Sugardale. To purchase single game tickets or for all general ticket information, fans can call 1-866-444-1944 or visit www.CantonCharge.com/tickets. Fans can sign-up to be a Charge Insider for breaking news and exclusive offers at www.CantonCharge.com/insider.