Williams dominated throughout the game, but he was at his best when it mattered most. With less than 2 ½ minutes in the game and the Red Claws threatening to take the lead after tying the game at 99, Williams took over. He drove to the right and scored on a lay-up to give the Armor a 101-99 lead. Shortly thereafter, following a missed layup, Scottie Reynolds intercepted the outlet pass and hit his former Big East foe Williams for an easy lay-in to extend the advantage.
The rest of the game was controlled by the Armor’s other standout Big East alum. Reynolds connected on several free throws down the stretch to ice the game for Springfield. “When you put two Big East players on the floor together, they’ll play well regardless,” said Williams.
Williams and Reynolds had great chemistry all night, finding each other multiple times in crucial situations. “He’s a very smart player,” said Williams. “It helped me because he can shoot and dish.” Reynolds finished with 26 points and 6 assists.
The Armor led going into halftime, but the Red Claws made their move in the third. Springfield entered the third quarter with a 57-51 lead. With just over 7 minutes left in the quarter, the Red Claws pulled off a 7-0 run, which cut the lead to 2 at 63-61, forcing Dee Brown to call a timeout.
After the timeout the roles were reversed as the Armor increased their lead to 70-61 with a 7-0 run of their own.
Just as the Armor began to pull away, however, Maine responded once again. With 1:17 remaining in the quarter and the Red Claws trailing by 9, Jamar Smith sparked a 6-0 run. Smith made a beautiful pass in transition to DeShawn Sims for the slam, cutting the lead to 5. Then with 3 seconds remaining, Smith nailed a jumper from the wing to end the quarter trailing by 3 at 79-76.
The rest of the game was a back-and-forth affair, but the Armor had just enough offensive firepower to hold off the Red Claws for the second time in three games this season.
In addition to the stellar performances of Reynolds and Williams, Craig Brackins, recently assigned to the Armor from the Philadelphia 76ers, made an immediate impact, finishing with 16 points off the bench in his Armor debut.
Vernon Goodridge also played well for the Armor, scoring 13 points with 4 blocked shots. Maine was led by Mario West, who scored 21 points. Jamar Smith had 18, while Chamberlain Oguchi dropped 17.
The Armor improve to 3-2 on the season, while Maine falls to 2-3. The Armor will return to action on Saturday evening when they host the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at 7:00 p.m. at the MassMutual Center.