The Canton Charge (25-19) fell to the Springfield Armor (20-25), 95-86, in front of a sellout crowd of 7,111 at the MassMutual Center on Friday night. Canton retains the advantage in the season series between the two East Division rivals, 5-3.
The Charge went ahead 22-16 after the first thanks in part to limiting the Armor to 6-of-26 shooting in the quarter (23%) as a team. Fresh off his return from a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Shane Edwards led Canton with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and four rebounds.
With Canton up 42-35 and 2:15 left in the half, Springfield finished strong on a 9-4 run to pull within one possession at 46-44 at halftime. Edwards had 14 points to lead all scorers, while Will Cherry tallied 10 points to bolster Canton at intermission.
Springfield came alive in the third with an efficient offensive attack of 13-of-18 shooting as a unit (72%), while balanced with 16 points in the paint and 16 from the perimeter. With their largest lead of the game at 12, Armor pulled ahead of the Charge, 76-64, heading into the final 12:00.
Canton was staunch on the defensive end in the fourth, but ultimately couldn't make a large enough run to get back in the game despite Edwards' 10 points. The Charge have now lost four in a row, their longest such streak this season.
Edwards netted 32 points on 14-of-23 shooting with 10 rebounds and two steals in 41 minutes for his third double-double of the year in his return. Olek Czyz also posted his third double-double with the Charge by scoring 12 points and 13 boards in 32 minutes. Will Cherry scored 12 points with four assists and two steals in 44 minutes.
The Armor were led by Willie Reed's 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting with 16 rebounds and a steal in 40 minutes. Jeff Foote was a presence in the middle with 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 40 minutes. Larry Anderson came off the bench to provide 19 points with 10 rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes.
Canton is back in action with an East Division matchup with the Delaware 87ers tomorrow, March 22, at 7:00 p.m.
(Canton Charge press release)