Armor Cruise Past Red Claws 93-74
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Behind forward Tornike Shengelia’s 23 points and 19 more from Willie Reed, the Springfield Armor (2-9), presented by MGM Springfield, coasted to a 93-74 victory over the Maine Red Claws (5-4) Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.
Maine’s Damen Bell-Holter poured in 21, while Chris Wright knocked down 20, but the Red Claws were unable to climb out of an early deficit in the team’s second straight loss.
The contest started with a battle amongst the big men as Reed and Wright went point-for-point in the game’s early stages. The Armor leaned on Reed for six of their first eight points, while Wright dropped in the Red Claws’ first nine. Springfield started to pull away in the first quarter, pushing the lead as far as eight and ending the period up 26-20.
In the second quarter, a defensive struggle ensued as the Armor held Maine to just 10 points in the frame and 1-of-15 from beyond the arc over the first half. Springfield’s offense was held in check as well, scoring 18 points, but entering halftime with a 14-point lead, it’s largest of the game.
Bell-Holter and Wright each tallied 11 at the break, while Reed paced the Armor with 13 on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, missing just two shots over his last six quarters of action. Maine held edges on fast break points (4-2) and second chance points (10-5), but shot just 31 percent from the field compared to the Armor’s 44.7 percent (17-of-38).
Nursing a 14-point lead, the Armor offense exploded for 29 points in the third quarter, stretching the lead to as large as 26 in the period before entering the fourth quarter with a 73-53 advantage. Reed, Shengelia and Gary Forbes all reached double figures by the end of the third with Reed leading the way behind 19.
Maine outscored Springfield 21-20 in the fourth, but the 20-point edge the Armor held entering the final frame stood strong as Springfield put away its second win against the Red Claws this season, 93-74.
The Red Claws ended the game outscoring the Armor on fast breaks 20-9, but Springfield’s hot shooting (49.3 percent) tilted the score. The Armor’s defense was on display as the team racked up 15 steals on the afternoon and held the Red Claws to 6-of-31 shooting from beyond the arc.
With its first home win in hand, the Armor will return to the MassMutual Center court on Friday, December 27 to host the Delaware 87ers in the first-ever meeting between the two teams at 7:00 p.m. For more information on the Armor, visit www.ArmorHoops.com or call (413) 746-3263. Keep up with the Armor on Facebook and Twitter!