Armor win in overtime
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Playing for the second night in a row, and the second of five straight against the Maine Red Claws, the Springfield Armor won a thrilling overtime contest against their eastern conference rivals, 113-110. JamesOn Curry scored 32 points, including a game-tying three in regulation and a game-winning three in overtime. A boisterous crowd of 2,849 at the MassMutual Center witnessed an incredibly heated game, with three technical fouls called and several elbows thrown.
Springfield jumped out to a 16 point lead in the first half, punishing the Red Claws inside and defending the rim on the defensive end. The Armor blocked five Red Claws shots in the first half, with 6'3" JamesOn Curry leading the way with two. Armor leading scorer, Morris Almond, relentlessly attacked the hoop, registering 21 first half points and getting to the line 10 times. Maine was able to trim the lead to three points late in the second quarter on Mario West's coast to coast layup and Alexis Ajinca's free throw. Springfield took a 54-51 lead into the second half.
Maine took their first lead on an alley-oop dunk to Ajinca with nine minutes left in the third quarter and it looked like the Red Claws were ready to take control of the game. But Springfield responded with a quick 6-0 run, capped off by a sweet Curry dish to Maurice Maxwell for the fast break layup. Curry, averaging 7.1 assists per game this year, finished with 16 and Maxwell chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
The lead changed hands five times in the fourth quarter before Maine pulled away and took a 92-87 lead with five minutes to play. Maine held a four point lead with just 12 seconds left when Curry made one of two free throws. The second free throw missed and the ball was hit out of bounds by Maine. Curry nailed a three off the inbounds play and the Red Claws were unable to get a shot off, forcing overtime.
Maine took an early two point lead in the extra period, but Curry's jumper tied it at 108 with 2 minutes left. Maine forward Noel Felix nailed two free throws to once again tie the game, this time at 110 all. After running the clock down to five seconds, Curry banked in a straight away three-pointer to win the game.
Almond scored 34 for the Armor and TJ Cummings had 19 points and six rebounds. Maine was led by Trey Gilder's 33 points and 12 rebounds. Springfield improved to 3-14 on the year and Maine dropped to 12-5.
The two teams square off for a rematch next Saturday, the 16th at the MassMutual Center at 7 p.m. for the Armor's Cancer Awareness Knight proudly presented by Big Y World Class Market. Anyone who wears pink will be able to enter to win a raffle for a $50 gift card courtesy of Big Y. Tickets are on sale now at www.armorhoops.com or the MassMutual Center Box Office. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 - 5 and Saturday's 10 - 4.
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