Red Claws Fall Despite 26 from Bennett
Portland, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, erased a 17-point deficit, and made 22 three-pointers, but fell to the Wisconsin Herd, 118-111 Thursday at the Portland Expo.
Maine (17-30) was led by Anthony Bennett with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Daniel Dixon added 24 points on 9-16 shooting, and L.J. Peak added 21 points. Devin Williams recorded his 20th double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds, and Trey Davis recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 assists.
Wisconsin (21-25) was led by Xavier Munford with 41 points on 16-25 shooting.
The Herd started the game scoring 6 quick points, with Joel Bolomby's jumper making it 6-2 Wisconsin. Peak ended the run with a three for the Claws. The teams would go back and forth, with Munford dropping in a trey to make it 14-12 Herd. The hot-shooting Herd would go on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to double-digits, with Munford leading the way. Dixon tried to keep Maine in the game from downtown, but Wisconsin made 7 of 9 three's in the quarter, taking a 41-28 lead after 1. Munford scored 16 points including 4-4 from deep.
Barham opened the 2nd by throwing in a wild shot, while Bennett buried a three to cut it to 7. Peak buried back-to-back three's to make it 48-40 Herd. That's when Bennett caught absolute fire. Bennett scored 13 straight points for the Red Claws, giving Maine a 53-52 lead. Bennett scored 19 points in the 2nd quarter, and Maine made 10 three's, taking a 67-65 halftime lead. Maine shot 46.9% (15-32) from downtown in the first half.
Peak opened the 3rd with a three-pointer, his 5th of the game. Davis knocked in a three to put Maine up 5. The Herd came back - Munford scored a hoop and the foul to tie the game at 82. Bolomboy knocked in a three to put the Herd up 2. Wisconsin out-scored Maine 28-22 to take a 93-89 lead after 3.
In the 4th, Munford scored on a runner to put Wisconsin up 6. The Herd lead ballooned from there, but the Red Claws weren't done. Bennett's slam made it 101-95. Dixon's corner three made it 108-104. Munford continued to pour it in for the Herd. Munford continued his incredible night, putting the game away with two huge buckets. Maine shot 39% (41-105) from the floor, 40% (22-55), and 7-11 from the free throw line. Wisconsin shot 54.2% (45-83) from the field, 52% (13-25) from downtown and 15-18 from the charity stripe.
The Red Claws return to action on Sunday when they host Lakeland. The game is sold out. The Expo season finale is next Thursday, March 22. Tickets are on sale by calling 207-210-6655 or visiting MaineRedClaws.com.
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