SPRINGFIELD, MA- Dennis Horner scored a season-high 29 points and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds to lead the Springfield Armor to a 100-91 victory over the Maine Red Claws tonight inside the MassMutual Center. With their third straight victory, the Armor improved to 25-19, while the Red Claws fell to 18-29 with the defeat.
Horner’s night got off to a fast start, with the Armor’s power forward tallying nine points and six rebounds to help stake his team to a 21-17 lead after one quarter.
The Red Claws battled back in the second, outscoring Springfield 28-23 behind nine of Morris Almond’s 15 first half points to head into halftime with a 45-44 advantage. The Armor struggled from the field in the first half, shooting .354 (17-48), but the Armor snared 14 offensive rebounds to the Red Claws’ 2 to keep the game close.
For the second straight game, the Armor came out and seized control in the third quarter. Horner buried a four-foot jumper to start the period and the Armor never trailed again. Springfield shot 12-18 (.667) in the frame and extended the lead to 13, 78-65, on a JamesOn Curry three-pointer with less than a minute to go in the third. The Armor outscored Maine 34-20 in the quarter.
In the fourth, the Armor pushed the lead to a game-high 15 points midway through the quarter and held the Red Claws at bay for the remainder of the evening. Curry starred in the fourth, scoring 6 points and dishing out 6 assists to help close the game out for the Armor.
Curry finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists, while turning the ball over just once. L.D. Williams poured in 17 points, Jerry Smith chipped in 13 points and 4 steals and Zendon Hamilton provided a lift off the bench with 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Maine’s Almond scored a game-high 33 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, Kenny Hayes contributed 26 points and 8 assists and Cedric Bozeman came off the bench to record 13 points.
The Armor out-rebounded the Red Claws 50-32, including 19-4 on the offensive glass, while Maine hung around by connecting on 30-32 (.938) shots from the foul line.
The Armor and Red Claws will meet for the tenth and final time this season in Maine on April 1. With tonight’s victory, the Armor clinched the season series (6-3) over the Red Claws for the first time in the teams’ three years of competition.
The Armor return to action on Thursday and Friday this week with back-to-back games against the Sioux Falls Skyforce to close out the regular season home schedule. Both games are scheduled to tip at 7:00 p.m.