Updated: Sunday, 03 Feb 2013, 12:01 AM EST
Published : Sunday, 03 Feb 2013, 12:01 AM EST
CANTON, OH - The Canton Charge withstood a late push from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to hold on for a 90-85 victory in front of 3,169 at the Civic Center on Saturday night. The win was Canton’s fourth-straight over Fort Wayne and improved their record to 18-11 on the season, while the Mad Ants dropped to 13-15.
The Charge pulled ahead 21-19 after the first quarter by working the glass on both ends with 22 rebounds, seven offensive, to limit Fort Wayne’s opportunities and create their own second chances. Canton shot an efficient 9-of-16 from the floor for 56% in the second period, but allowed the Mad Ants to hang around by surrendering nine turnovers in the quarter and held a 42-39 lead at the half.
After Fort Wayne briefly gained a one-point advantage in the first minute of the third quarter, the home team pulled back ahead with continued offensive efficiency, shooting 55% from the field, while they built up their biggest lead of the night at 68-60 heading into the game’s final quarter. With the Charge leading 82-73 with 4:42 left in the game, the Mad Ants went on a 12-3 run over the next 4:06 to tie the game at 85-85.
JaJuan Johnson fought for an offensive rebound on the ensuing possession, drawing a loose ball foul and hitting both attempts from the free-throw line. Tony Mitchell then came down and drew a shooting foul while driving to the right of the basket on the next possession for Fort Wayne. Mitchell missed both, allowing Canton to put the game away from the charity stripe while forcing a Luke Harangody missed three-point attempt to tie it with 1.9 seconds left.
Kyle Gibson led Canton with 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting with two rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. Micheal Eric came off the bench to notch his ninth double-double of the year by pouring in 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting with 13 boards and three blocks in 22 minutes. Dominique Johnson scored 17 points in 31 minutes in his first start of the season, while Josh Selby supplied 11 points with eight rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes in also his first start of the year for the Charge.
Harangody finished with a double-double of 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting with 13 rebounds in 42 minutes for the Mad Ants. Mitchell netted a game-high 23 points on 9-of-27 shooting with eight rebounds and four steals in 41 minutes. Fort Wayne grabbed 21 offensive rebounds in the game, finishing with 51 as a team.
The Charge and Mad Ants will next meet again for the penultimate matchup of the season series between the two East Division rivals on Monday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. in Fort Wayne.
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