Canton prevails in overtime
The Canton Charge fought for a 108-101 overtime victory over the Erie BayHawks at the Erie Insurance Arena on Friday night. The Charge outscored the BayHawks 7-0 in the extra period to come away with the win.
Canton pulled ahead for a 30-22 lead after the first quarter in part to a staunch defense that forced five Erie turnovers for nine points and limiting the hosts' offense to just 7-of-20 attempts from the field (35%). Michael Dunigan propelled the Charge with 10 points in the opening stanza.
The visitors maintained a lead throughout the entire second by converting high-percentage opportunities in the restricted area, scoring 18 of their 26 points in the paint. Dunigan (14pts) and Onuaku (14pts) combined for 28 points in the first half overall, with Canton scoring 32 points in the paint in the first 24 minutes to take a 56-51 lead into intermission.
They BayHawks were white hot offensively coming out of the half, hitting 12-of-16 shots from the field (75%) to press the Charge lead. Down 78-71 with 2:30 left in the third, Erie finished the quarter on a 12-5 run to knot the game at 83-83 after trailing since the 9:38 mark in the first. Brandon Paul kept Canton going with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 3-of-4 from three-point range in the third.
The fourth quarter was a closely contested affair with five ties and three lead changes, as both teams battled back-and-forth to try and gain the upper hand. Erie went ahead 100-99 when Seth Curry was fouled when pulling up for a 27-foot triple that bounced above the backboard off the rim and down through the cylinder. Jorge Gutierrez hit a tough runner with 55 seconds left to pull Canton ahead again three possessions later. John Bohannon split a pair of free throws to knot the game with 19.8 left, and Paul couldn't get his buzzer beater to fall to force extra time.
Canton forced misses on all five Erie shots in overtime, with their big three of the night Dunigan, Onuaku and Paul chipping in to score their points in extra time. The Charge are now 2-0 against Erie this season and 8-3 thus far in Atlantic Division play.
Onuaku racked up his seventh-straight double-double and 12th in 15 games with 25 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 44 minutes. Dunigan netted 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting with seven boards in 37 minutes. Paul poured in 24 points with six rebounds and three steals in 38 minutes. It was the first time since March 22nd of last year that the Charge had three players score 20+ points. Gutierrez finished with 14 points and five assists in 34 minutes.
Curry scored a game-high 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting in 44 minutes for the BayHawks. Drew Crawford added 19 points and eight boards in 46 minutes. Bohannon came off the bench to supply 16 points and 14 rebounds in 33 minutes of relief. Peyton Siva added 13 points and six assists in 32 minutes.
**Canton Charge press release