Charge Fall in Fort Wayne
The Canton Charge (2-4), presented by SecureData 365 and powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, fell on the road to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (6-3), 98-94, at the War Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. The season series between the two Central Division rivals is now even at 1-1 with the home team taking each game.
Canton's offense struggled out the gate, unable to find a shooting rhythm after going just 4-of-18 (22%) from the floor in the first quarter. The Fort Wayne defense created extra opportunities with five turnovers forced as well as five second chance points on offense. The host Mad Ants held on to a 25-20 lead after the first despite hitting just 9-of-23 shots (39%) themselves, but took advantage of high-percentage opportunities with ten of those points coming in the paint.
The visitors began the second with a 10-4 run that would contain the first of four lead changes and six ties in the quarter. The Mad Ants' Terran Petteway was a force all his own in the quarter by netting 16 of his team's 28 points in the second on 7-of-8 shooting. The Charge responded to their first quarter shooting woes with a much stronger second, hitting 13-of-24 (54%) shots, but Fort Wayne held a 53-49 advantage at intermission.
With the game knotted at 57-57 and 8:54 left in the third, the Charge surged for a 14-2 run, with Nick Minnerath hitting three triples, over a span of two minutes to go up 71-59. The Mad Ants hung tough by hitting eight of their last 12 shots to pull within 77-76 heading into the final frame. Ball movement was the key to Canton's third quarter effort, with nine assists on 11 made field goals in the period.
The early stages of the fourth saw a defensive battle with Fort Wayne pulling ahead on a 5-2 run in the first 3:57. Despite hitting just two field goals in the final 8:03, the Mad Ants were able to take control of the game in the fourth due to drawing fouls and getting free opportunities at the line. Fort Wayne converted on 13-of-16 penalties overall in the fourth to Canton's 4-of-5 free-throw conversions to stave off any Charge attempts to take control of the game.
Minnerath finished with a team-high 20 points with 4-of-7 three-point shooting to go along with nine rebounds in 25 minutes. The Atlanta Hawks' Tim Hardaway Jr. netted 19 points in 33 minutes on assignment. The Cleveland Cavaliers' Joe Harris added 12 points, four boards, and four assists in 33 minutes on assignment. Quinn Cook pitched in 12 points, four boards, and four assists in 38 minutes for Canton.
Petteway poured in 36 points on 13-of-21 shooting in 35 minutes off the bench and the most points by an individual Charge opponent so far this season. Rakeem Christmas added 18 points, six rebounds, and five blocks in 32 minutes on assignment from the Indiana Pacers. Fort Wayne forced 20 Canton turnovers that resulted in 19 points.
The Charge are back home tomorrow, December 5th to face the Iowa Energy (Memphis Grizzlies affiliate) at 7:00 p.m. Check out all four NBA players on assignment, get a Cavs Sword Yearbook (first 1,000 fans), postgame autographs, and more starting at just $8! For more information and to purchase tickets, head to www.CantonCharge.com.
2015-16 single game tickets and Charge Nation Memberships are on sale now starting at just $8 per game! Premium Memberships are also available, which include courtside seating and dining access in the Courtside Club presented by Budweiser starting at just $40 per game! Group discounts are available for parties of 20 or more, with Fan Experience Packages such as being a part of the high five tunnel or playing on the Charge court! For 2015-16 Charge Nation Memberships, game day promotions, and up-to-date information, head to www.CantonCharge.com or call 866-444-1944.
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