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Second Half Defense Leads Maine Celtics to 2-0

November 7, 2021 - NBA G League (G League) - Maine Celtics News Release


COLLEGE PARK, GA - The Maine Celtics, presented by Unum, used a stifling second half defense to overcome a 12-point deficit and take down the College Park Skyhawks Sunday, 113-98.

After giving up 72 points in the first half, Maine (2-0) held the Skyhawks (0-2) to just 26 points in the second half. Another balanced offensive attack was led by Theo Pinson with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Juwan Morgan added 18 points and 10 boards in the win. Sam Hauser and Ryan Arcidiacono each finished with 17 points, while Arcidiacono was 2 assists shy of a triple-double (17points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists). Luke Kornet and Chris Clemons each added 14 points in the win.

College Park was led by Jalen Johnson, who finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Skyler Mays added 18 in the loss.

Morgan opened the scoring with a corner three on the opening possession. Hauser followed that up with a three of his own, and the Celtics were off and running. Arcidiacono's three-point play made it 9-4 Maine early. The Celtics made 6 of their first 7 threes, but DaQuan Jeffries' 3 followed by Sharife Cooper's fast-break lay-up kept the Skyhawks close. Justin Tillman forced a hoop and the foul, tying the game at 30. Cat Barber's bucket at the end of the period gave College Park took a 34-30 lead after 1.

In the 2nd, College Park extended its run to 14-0 before Jaysean Paige stopped the bleeding with a driving lay-up. College Park got into foul trouble early in the 2nd, and the Celtics took advantage - free throws by Arcidiacono and Pinson put Maine back up 47-46. Jalen Johnson scored 8 straight to put the Skyhawks up 8. Johnson finished with a prolific half - the Atlanta Hawks assignee scored 21 points on 9-12 shooting to go with 9 rebounds in the first half. College Park led 72-60 at the break. The Skyhawks shot 56% (28-50) from the floor and 56.3% (9-16) from three-point range in the first half. Maine shot 45.5% (20-44) from the field and 47.6% (10-21) from beyond the arc.

Hauser started the 3rd with a corner three. Pinson and Kornet followed that up with buckets, and Maine went on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 5. Kornet's hook shot made it an 80-79 game, Morgan's reverse lay-up marked an 11-0 run for the Celtics and gave Maine an 81-80 lead. The Celtics finished the period strong, out-scoring College Park 29-14 in the 3rd - Maine led 89-86 after 3.

In the 4th, Clemons scored on a nice cross-over move, and Kornet followed that up with a three-point play. Maine took a 101-94 lead. Off a Arcidiacono steal, Pinson buried another three to put Maine up 10. After a big defensive stop, Pinson made big free throws to put it away. Maine's stifling second half defense held College Park to just 26 points on 9 made field goals, holding Johnson scoreless in the half. Maine wound up shooting 45.5% (40-88) from the field, 40% (16-40) from three-point range, and 12-18 from the free throw line. College Park shot 41.5% (37-89) from the floor, 38.9% (14-36) from deep, and 8-8 from the charity stripe.

The Maine Celtics return home for their home opener this Friday, Nov. 12 against Delaware. Tickets are on sale now by visiting MaineCeltics.com.


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