Charge ousted in overtime by Drive

BY foxsports • November 22, 2014

The Canton Charge fell to the Grand Rapids Drive in overtime by a margin of 102-98 on Saturday night.

Canton raced ahead to a 30-18 first quarter lead thanks in part to the all-around play of Cleveland Cavaliers assignment Alex Kirk, who netted 10 points and grabbed seven boards in the game's opening stanza. Chris Crawford made an impact all over the floor and box score for the Charge in the first, scoring nine points, grabbing three rebounds, dishing four assists, and nabbing two steals.

The hosts went ahead by as many as 24 in the second, ultimately taking a 57-41 halftime lead behind a 25-for-43 team shooting effort (58%) on 11 assists. The Canton defense held Grand Rapids as a unit to 13-of-36 from the field (36%) and exerted their dominance in the paint by outscoring the Drive 30-18 around the basket.

The Drive responded coming out of the break as they outscored the Charge 29 to 15 in the third quarter. Grand Rapids picked up their defensive intensity, limiting Canton to just 23% shooting in the period. The Drive shot an impressive 57% from the field behind a strong performance from Josh Bostic's 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting. The Charge entered the fourth quarter clinging to a 72-70 lead.

Canton found the spark they needed when William Buford went for 7 points on 3-of-5 shooting to help stave off another push from Grand Rapids. Buford's three pointer with 4:04 left put the Charge up 89-80. The resilient Drive answered with a 11-2 run to finish regulation that included six Lorenzo Brown points, sending this one to overtime knotted at 91-91.

Grand Rapids' L.D. Williams opened the scoring in overtime with a lay-in over Michael Dunigan that drew a foul. Williams converted the ensuing free throw, and the Drive never looked back. The visitors outscored the Charge 11-7 in the additional period, including hitting 7-of-9 free-throws, and led the rest of the way to nab the franchise's first-ever victory.

Kirk finished with his second double-double in as many nights with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 12 rebounds, and two blocks in 41 minutes on assignment from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Crawford filled up the box score with 16 points with six rebounds, seven assists, and four steals in 39 minutes. Justin Johnson came off the bench to add 17 points and four rebounds in 33 minutes, while Stephen Holt supplied 11 points and three steals in 33 minutes.

Adonis Thomas poured in a game-high 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting in 44 minutes. Newly acquired Willie Reed made his debut this season with 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting, 15 boards, and four blocks in 36 minutes of relief. Williams finished with 11 points and three boards in 32 minutes.

The Charge return to the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Friday, November 28th at 7:00 p.m. for Vintage Cavs Night.