NBA D-League All Stars, Kevin Jones and Arinze Onuaku each posted double-doubles as the Canton Charge won handily against the Erie BayHawks, 104-82 as 2,479 fans celebrated prom night at the Canton Memorial Civic Center last night. The victory puts Canton at 21-13 for the season and drops Erie to 11-23 as the Charge holds the final 7-1 season advantage between the two East Division rivals.
As the game progressed in the first quarter, Canton would take a double digit lead only to see the BayHawks fight back to tie or take a brief lead. In the second quarter, things began to jell for the Charge as they were able to pad their lead by as much as 24 points and lead for the remaining 30:48 of the game.
Canton came into the game with the league’s second best scoring defense allowing only 99.5 points per game. The Charge’s record is 16-3 when holding opponents under 100 points. Overall, Erie was limited to 31-of-79 shooting from the field for 39%.
Jones led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting with 13 rebounds and two blocks in 36 minutes for his seventh double-double of the year. Onuaku’s strong presence in the paint allowed him to post 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting with 16 boards and a steal in 28 minutes. Shane Edwards netted 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in 39 minutes. Jorge Gutierrez added 17 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in 33 minutes.
The BayHawks were paced by Scott Suggs’ 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting in 37 minutes. Chris Smith came off the bench to provide 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting with two steals in 28 minutes. Erie was outscored 56-30 in the paint in the game.
HEAD COACH STEVE HETZEL
(On tonight’s win):“I thought it was a great win. I felt we played very good basketball in spurts in the first half because we built two double digit leads and we let them back in the game with some turnovers. I just thought we put a full second half together which I was very pleased with. We told them that if just play as hard as we could, we’d win the game and I felt like we did that, especially in the second half. We rebounded the ball well, we moved the ball well, we took care of it in the second half and we defended which was great to see.”
(On tonight’s defensive effort):“I was very pleased with it. I thought with our length, we went a little bigger than we normally do, and I thought our length bothered them. A lot of it has to do with the familiarity of their sets and knowing where to be and it comes down to just guarding one-on-one. I thought our help defense was in the proper position and I was very pleased. We’d love to do that every night, because defense, in my opinion, wins games.”
F KEVIN JONES
(On the play of the three bigs tonight):“When we’re playing that well, all together, it’s hard to stop us with the three-point shooters we got. Will (Cherry) came up big for us coming off the bench. Everybody just gave their normal effort and I think that’s what got us the win. Coach (Hetzel) just told us to play as hard as we can and I think that’s what helped us.”
The Charge will keep with the home cooking when they host the Texas Legends at the Civic Center tomorrow, February 22 at 7:00 p.m. It’s Faith & Family Night, with a postgame concert by Christian rock band Manic Drive, postgame autographs and dollar dogs presented by Sugardale and more, all starting at just $7! For game day promotions and links to live stats and YouTube game streams, head towww.CantonCharge.com.