Armor Stun Red Claws with Last-Second Victory

PORTLAND, ME MARCH 6, 2011 – JamesOn Curry’s three-pointer with .3 seconds broke a 97-97 tie and vaulted the Armor to a stunning 100-97 victory over the rival Maine Red Claws.

The Red Claws (14-26) opened the game on a 10-2 run and it looked as if it’d be a long afternoon for the visiting Armor (11-28) in front of a packed house in Portland. Maine concluded the first quarter with a 27-18 lead, but the Armor came roaring back in the second quarter behind Jerry Smith’s 14 points in the period to draw even at 49-49 by halftime.

The Armor continued to apply pressure on the Red Claws in the second half, forcing 20 turnovers on the afternoon. Jerry Smith and Gavin Edwards led the offensive charge, as the Armor opened up a 74-69 after three quarters.

In the fourth, the Armor and Red Claws battled back and forth, but Springfield looked to have the game wrapped up late as a Jerry Smith three-pointer increased the lead to 97-88 with less than two minutes remaining.

However, the Red Claws’ Mario West picked up three of his game-high seven steals on successive possessions and finished a pair of layups and an and-one to cut the lead to 97-95. After a missed shot, Maine’s DeShawn Sims scored two of his team-high 25 points to tie things up at 97-97 with 16 seconds to play.

Following an Armor timeout, Curry collected the inbounds pass and with the game clock ticking down, banked in a contested three-pointer from the top of the key to send the Armor to their first-ever victory in Portland.

Sims (25 points), West (21 points), and Jamar Smith (15 points) led the Red Claws in the losing effort. Maine shot 55.7% from the field, but was unable to overcome a stellar effort on the offensive end from the Armor.

Jerry Smith scored a game-high and career-high 27 points (10-14 from the field, 5-6 from behind the arc) in 27 minutes to lead the Armor on the offensive end. Edwards contributed a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, as the Armor bench scored 69 of the team’s 100 points.

The game was the 10th and final matchup between the Armor and the Red Claws in the 2010-11 regular season.

The Armor will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Erie to take on the BayHawks at 11:00 a.m. The Armor will then return home for games on Thurs. and Sat. (both at 7:00 p.m.) against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.