It was a game that could have gone either way as two very evenly matched teams battled it out at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Friday. The Canton Charge (2-3) presented by SecureData 365 managed to squelch a late fourth quarter run by the Erie BayHawks (3-2). The win was the first home court victory for the season after a triple-overtime loss to the Delaware 87ers for the home opener and an overtime defeat at the hands of Grand Rapids Drive.
The Canton Charge victory was due to a variety of factors that included an even paced style of play that kept them in the game clear to the end where they had the energy to fend off the late charge by the opposing team. Also notable was the return of Arinze Onuaku our BMUTB (Big Man Under The Basket) who powered in shot after shot on his way to a double-double game as well as more playing time by team captain Antoine Agudio. The team seemed to play in a much more stable manner than prior to this game.
The first half found the teams vying for advantage with 15 lead changes and five ties over the 24 minutes with both teams hitting high percentage shots from the restricted area under the basket. Canton made good on 20-34 for 59% with 26 points scored in the paint while Erie hit 19-34 for 56% with 28 points in the paint. As the teams took a breather at the half, Canton held a slim one point lead of 47-46.
The third period was nearly all Charge as they led by as many as 15 as they hit for 59% plus 10 free throw points from 14 attempts. During the final 2:47 of the quarter, Erie surged with a 10-2 run and pulled to within 78-71 as the last quarter began.
It was looking grim for the home team as Canton gave up the ball eight times on turnovers with a resulting nine points for the BayHawks. Drew Crawford led Erie with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and BayHawks Guard Seth Curry added 10 points of his own. In spite of this valiant effort, Canton managed to stay just ahead using the clock to their advantage and winning 100-97.
Charge forward Arinze Onuaku posted a double-double in his return with 28 points on 10-of-12 shooting, 11 boards, and two blocks in 39 minutes. Brandon Paul also made his season debut, contributing 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting as a reserve for Coach Fernandez’s bunch. William Buford provided a punch off the bench with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, seven rebounds, and two blocks in 27 minutes. As a team, Canton assisted on 23 of their 36 field goals in the game.
Erie was led by Crawford’s 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting and six rebounds in 40 minutes. Seth Curry added 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists in 38 minutes. Daniel Coursey posted 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting with four steals in 25 minutes. The BayHawks forced 26 Charge turnovers that resulted in 29 points on the night.
The Charge are back at the Canton Memorial Civic Center for Pro Football HOF Day this Sunday, November 30th at 5:00 p.m. The festivities include a pregame tailgate, HOF Traveling Exhibits, HOF KidZone, and more! Single game tickets for all 2014-2015 Canton Charge regular season home games are on sale now! To view the 2014-15 Canton Charge home schedule complete with promotions and special deals, head to www.CantonCharge.com/promotions.
2014-15 Charge Nation Memberships are on sale now starting at just $5 per game! Premium Memberships are also available with VIP Club access including food, Budweiser & Pepsi products starting at just $40 per game! Group discounts are available for parties of 20 or more, with Fan Experience Packages such as being a part of the high five tunnel or playing on the Charge court! For 2014-15 Charge Nation Memberships, game day promotions and up-to-date information, head to www.CantonCharge.com or call 866-444-1944.
The Canton Charge, presented by SecureData 365, are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Majority Owner and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, both of which play their games at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.