Gutierrez's Triple-Double Lifts Charge Over Armor
The Canton Charge continued their perfect start to the 2013-14 season with a 107-96 win over the Springfield Armor in front of 2,469 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Saturday night. The start extends Canton’s best-ever as a franchise, while the Armor dropped to 0-3 to start the season.
The opening period was marked by fast-paced, back-and-forth play with four ties and five lead changes. Springfield forced five Canton turnovers resulting in nine points and had eight different players get in the scoring column, but the Charge otherwise displayed an efficient offensive output by hitting 12-of-20 shots from the field (60%) and pulled ahead for a 29-25 lead at the end of the first.
Tyrell Biggs provided a spark to help extend Canton’s advantage in the second, playing all 12 minutes and scoring 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four rebounds. The Charge led by as many as 17 in outscoring the Armor 31-19 in the quarter en route to a 60-44 halftime advantage.
Trailing 68-57 with 6:44 left in the third, Springfield initiated a 9-4 run to get their deficit within single digits at 72-66. After the Charge were at 57% from the field offensively for the first half, the Armor held them to just 6-of-16 shooting in the third (38%) to continue to hang around as Canton’s lead was 76-70 heading into the final frame.
The Charge picked it back up offensively to close the game, never letting their lead slip below two scores and increasing it to as many as 13 by hitting 11-of-19 shots from the field (58%) in the fourth. Jorge Gutierrez clinched the second triple-double in franchise history with a dish to Kevin Jones under the hoop for a layup with 2:04 left in the game.
Gutierrez finished with a career-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting with 12 rebounds, eight of which came in the second quarter, 11 assists and two steals in 42 minutes. Arinze Onuaku added 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting with eight rebounds and a block in 19 minutes of relief off the bench. Jones supplied 17 points, six rebounds and three steals in 36 minutes. Biggs ended the game with 14 points and nine boards in 22 minutes.
Springfield was paced by Justin Johnson’s 24 points on 11-of-22 shooting and six rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench. Dennis Horner added 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting with six rebounds in 31 minutes. Willie Reed provided a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes for the Armor. Canton dished out 22 assists on the night to Springfield’s nine.
CANTON CHARGE POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Steve Hetzel
(On Arinze Onuaku’s play tonight): “He was an All-Star in this league last year and he made New Orleans’ roster (to start the season), so we know he’s right at the cusp of being on an NBA team. We got a big time player when we acquired him. He did very efficient work in the second quarter and in the second half.”
(On Jorge Gutierrez’s triple-double): “He controlled the game. His feet have been hurting him, I told him when we were walking to the locker room (at halftime) if we could put this thing away, I’d give him a rest. At the end of the game when he was limping off, I told him it was his fault for making it closer than it should have been (joking). I leaned on him heavily, and it paid off for the win.”
(On having multiple players contributing to the team’s 4-0 start): “From day one, we say that we have a team and we don’t have one person in particular. If somebody’s got it going, (we have) just got to roll with it, keep giving them the ball and let them produce.”
G Jorge Gutierrez
(On taking control of the game after the third quarter): “We came out flat (after halftime). Once we warmed up, we came out swinging and playing with better defense and we came out with the win.” The Charge are back in action at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Wednesday, December 11th at 7:00 p.m. against the Tulsa 66ers, with tickets starting as low as $7! 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.