Red Claws' Rally Falls Short
Portland, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, erased a 19-point deficit to go up by 10 points, only to eventually fall to the Wisconsin Herd, 123-118 Thursday night at the Portland Expo.
Maine (7-3) was led by Trey Davis, who scored a game-high 26 points off the bench in just 20 minutes. Justin Bibbs added 16 points, and Boston Celtics assignee Vincent Poirier added 14 points and 9 rebounds in his Red Claws debut. Tremont Waters added 13 points and 10 assists, while Yante Maten recorded a 13 point-15 rebound double-double. Bryce Brown and Jaysean Paige each scored 13 in the loss.
Wisconsin (10-1) won its 10th straight game, and was led by Frank Mason with 25 points, while Jaylen Adams added 22 points.
The Herd got off to a lightning fast start, with Bender getting to the line to help spark an 8-0 run to start the game. Frank Mason scored off a steal to make it 10-0 Wisconsin. Bender's three extended the lead to 17-0 before Brown stopped the bleeding with a three of his own. The Red Claws quickly scored 8 straight to get back into the game. The Herd continued to score at will, going on another 10-0 run. Poirier got in the box score to cut it to 27-12. Davis helped the Claws get back to 10, and Maine trailed 38-28 after 1 quarter of play.
In the 2nd, Waters opened the period with a floating bucket, followed by a Jaysean Paige three, cutting the deficit to 5. Brown hit a couple of buckets, and in the blink of an eye it was a one point game at 42-41. Waters' three tied the game at 44, erasing a 19-point deficit. Davis drained a three to give Maine its first lead at 58-55. Waters' 3 extended the lead to 6. The Red Claws led 65-63 at the break. Maine shot 44.2% at the half (23-52), while Wisconsin shot 53.3% (24-45).
Maten scored two quick buckets to open the 3rd, and Bibbs drained a three to make it 72-65 Red Claws. Brown buried a triple to help maintain the lead. Gates' emphatic slam put the Claws up 82-72. The Herd came back. Luke May buried a three to get it to 5. The Red Claws stopped the run with back-to-back threes. Davis' big three made it 95-92 Maine after 3.
In the 4th, Wisconsin quickly scored a trio of buckets to cut the Red Claws lead to 98-96. Maten stopped that with a three out of the timeout. Poirier's put-back slam and Bibbs' three put the Claws up 5. Wisconsin hit back-to-back threes to take the lead, and an 8-0 run capped by a Reynolds three put the Herd up 112-108. Jaylen Adams three maintained that 4 point lead for Wisconsin. Paige hit a big three to put Maine back on top at 118-117. Bibbs missed a big three, and Jemerrio Jones knocked in two free throws to give the Herd a 119-118 lead with :53.8 left. It was the lead the Red Claws could not overcome again.
The Red Claws shot 41.7% (43-103) from the field, 37.7% (20-53) from three-point range, and 6-7 from the free throw line. Wisconsin shot 50.5% (46-91) from the floor, 31.4% (11-35) from downtown, and 12-13 from the charity stripe.
Maine returns to action Saturday night against Delaware.
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