The Canton Charge avenged last night’s defeat with a 107-96 victory over the Erie BayHawks in front of 3,863 at the Erie Insurance Arena on Saturday night. The win improves Canton to 12-7 overall and 6-1 against the BayHawks this season, while Erie dropped to 4-13.
The Charge started out hot by forcing four turnovers for eight points during a 14-2 run in the game’s opening 4:38. Both teams shot over 50% from the field in the first quarter, with Canton up 30-23 thanks in part to Jorge Gutierrez netting 11 points on 4-of-7 attempts with two steals.
The visitors’ lead was as many as 13 in the second, falling below double digits when the BayHawks closed the half out on a 10-4 run in the final 3:07. Erie held Canton to 9-of-24 shooting in the second (38%) but the Charge were able to create extra opportunities with seven offensive rebounds and went into the half with a 55-48 advantage.
Canton exploded for 36 third quarter points on 14-of-18 shooting from the field (78%) as a team to lead by as many as 21. Shane Edwards converted all five attempts in the period for 11 points, while Kevin Jones netted 10 of his own. The Charge held a 91-70 lead heading into the game’s final frame.
Just as Erie had done the night before, Canton maintained their advantage throughout the entire game after scoring the opening bucket. The BayHawks cut the deficit to seven at 103-96 with 1:42 left, but the Charge put the game away in the fourth by hitting 8-of-10 free throws in the fourth. Canton is now 10-3 this season when holding opponents to under 100 points and 6-2 on the second night of a back-to-back.
Six players scored in double figures for the Charge, led by Gutierrez’s 19 with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes. Jones finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 35 minutes. Edwards netted 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting with three assists in 25 minutes. Gilbert Brown had his seventh straight double digit scoring game with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 31 minutes.
The BayHawks were led by Mustafa Shakur’s 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting with five rebounds in 39 minutes. CJ Leslie came off the bench to provide 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. Justin Brownlee added 15 points, five rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes. Erie surrendered the ball 20 times for 24 points, while Canton had just 10 turnovers that resulted in 16 points.
Canton will next travel to East rivals Springfield to take on the Armor in a two-game set beginning on Friday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m. Fans can follow all of the action with a YouTube game steam and live game stats on CantonCharge.com.