Charge blow past Mad Ants
(February 10, 2012) – The Canton Charge used a huge fourth quarter to propel them to a 106-85 victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in front of 2,575 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Friday night. The win improved Canton to 14-16 this season while Fort Wayne dropped to 10-20.
After a closely contested game for the first 36 minutes, the Charge caught fire in the fourth period by outscoring the Mad Ants 35-18. Canton was 11-of-17 from the field for 65%, including 6-of-9 from three-point line after going 28-of-62 for 45% and 2-of-10 respectively through the initial three quarters. Antoine Agudio tied a season-high for points in a quarter with 14 on 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the final quarter. Antonio Graves was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor for 13 points down the stretch to help Canton run away with the win.
The Charge cleaned the glass all game long by outrebounding the Mad Ants, 51-25, a season-low for an opponent. Frank Hassell led the effort with 16 boards of his own along with 12 points in 31 minutes for his seventh double-double of the season. The 21-point win for Canton tied a season-high for their largest margin of victory after they topped Fort Wayne by the same amount on January 2nd.
Graves finished with a season-high 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in 33 minutes to pace Canton. Agudio scored 15 points and improved his season average to 53% on 52-of-99 shooting from beyond the three-point line, good for the best percentage in the entire D-League.
Fort Wayne’s Darnell Lazare had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes. Lazare had 18 through three quarters before he was clamped down on by the Canton defense. He was named to the All-Star squad this week and came into the game ninth in the D-League in scoring. Ron Howard led the Mad Ants in scoring with 21 points in 39 minutes.
Manny Harris poured in 16 with seven rebounds in 28 minutes for his 11th straight game with double-digit scoring. Tyrell Biggs supplied 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds in 33 minutes. Canton was 20-of-23 from the foul line for 87% on the night. The season series is now in favor of the Charge at 3-2, with the home team winning all five matchups. Fort Wayne will come to the Civic Center twice in March to wrap up the season series.
Canton will hit the road tomorrow to finish their weekend back-to-back set when they travel to Sioux Falls to take on the Skyforce at 8:00 p.m.
CANTON CHARGE QUOTES
Head Coach Alex Jensen
(Opening Statement): “It was a good night. They adjusted to us really well in the third quarter. They played last night and gassed out in the fourth quarter. We outrebounded them 51 to 25 and were 20 for 23 at the line, but we still had 22 turnovers. The hard games in this league are the back-to-back ones. The crowd has been great the past two or three games. You don’t get that at every arena in the D-League and it has really turned into a nice home court advantage for us. The guys played hard and Antonio (Graves) really stepped up when T.J. (Campbell) got in foul trouble tonight. We did a really good job rebounding even though at halftime, they were shooting 63 percent.”
(On back to back games): “We haven’t played since last Saturday and they were coming of the back to back. They played a tough game last night and came up just short. They traveled, and we have the same situation tomorrow. It does make it more important to win the first game of the back to back. It will be a good challenge for us.”
(On turnovers): “They (Fort Wayne) did a good job, they pushed us. They came at us just at half court and the pressure affected us. We did a good job at the end breaking it down and driving instead of just laying back, we kept attacking. We have to be better at making decisions because that is where a lot of our turnovers came. We had a lot of turnovers going on the break. We had an open guy at times and other times we had nothing open. Tyrell Biggs and Travis Franklin did a great job on the boards.”
(On building a lead in fourth): “I think we started getting some stops and at the same time, we made shots at the other end. We went on a slight run and that really helped us. I give a lot of credit to T.J. because he really picked it up, especially with the assists. I had six turnovers, which is something that I’m not proud of, but I’m still trying to learn the point guard position. I think T.J. helped a lot getting the ball to open guys.”
(On his aggressiveness): “I knew I had to stay aggressive. It is my fifth year as a professional and with T.J. (in foul trouble tonight) and me being the only backup point guard, I had to keep my head up, be the leader and bring the ball down. I wanted to stay aggressive first and foremost.”