The Canton Charge snapped a three-game losing skid with a 104-96 victory over the Tulsa 66ers in front of 2,450 at the Memorial Civic Center on Friday night. The win improved Canton to 7-8 on the year, while Tulsa now sits at 8-4. The season series between the two teams is now tied at 1-1.
It was a game that can only be described as “goofy” as both teams lost the ball on a series of strange steals and take-aways. Add to this a collection of missed open shots on both ends of the court and a slew of questionable calls that had the large crowd up on their feet in protest mading for an exciting evening at the Civic Center. As in all Charge games, the physical contact was brutal at times with one instance when a 66er went airborn and horizontal (nearly hitting his head on the rim) and just missed landing on a prone Charge player (neither was hurt). After trading leads throughout most of the game, the Charge took control with a killer five point play by Dominique Johnson who made a fast break lay-up followed by an inbound steal and beautiful three-pointer that tore the roof off the arena.
Both teams traded blows throughout the first quarter, with eight lead changes and two ties. Tulsa ended the period with a 23-22 advantage behind 53% shooting on 10-of-19 attempts. The second quarter saw more of the more of the same, with Tulsa continuing the hot offensive hand with 55% shooting including 10 points from Perry Jones. Canton continued to hang around with a strong presence on the glass and by converting their free throws. Eight more lead changes and four more ties later, the 66ers held just a 49-46 lead at the intermission.
Tulsa held steady throughout the third, never surrendering their lead but ultimately never being able to add to it for a 72-70 lead. The Charge offense shot 60% in the period and set themselves up to make a run in the fourth quarter. The turning point in game came when Canton assembled a quick 8-0 run in a span of 41 seconds early in the fourth. Alex Ruoff drilled a three pointer, followed by Dominique Johnson one man five point clinic to put the Charge up 85-78. Canton would never trail the rest of the game.
A season-best six Charge Players scored in double figures in the game. Assigned by the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier today, Samardo Samuels nabbed his first career D-League double-double with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds, two steals and one block in 36 minutes. Arinze Onuaku came into tonight second in the D-League in rebounds with 11.0 per game and finished with a season-best 17 boards with 18 points and two steals in 35 minutes for his ninth double-double of the year. Jorge Gutierrez added a season-high 16 points with four rebounds, six assists and four steals in 36 minutes.
Jones led Tulsa’s trio of NBA assignees with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting with five rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes. Daniel Orton had 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 38 minutes. The newly acquired Chris Quinn came off the bench to provide 19 points, seven assists and four steals in 32 minutes. The 66ers grabbed a Charge season opponent low 30 rebounds in the game, while Canton nabbed 44 despite Tulsa shooting 50% overall from the field.
Ruoff finished 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 24 minutes, including 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point line. Johnson also had 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting with four rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes. Antoine Agudio rounded out the Charge’s double-digit scorers with 12 points and three steals in 36 minutes. Canton pilfered a season-high 14 steals as a team in tonight’s contest.
The two teams will meet for the final time this season tomorrow night at the Civic Center at 7:30 p.m. It will be Stark County Hunger Task Force Night, where the Charge will be holding a food drive of non-perishable items in order to help the Stark County Hunger Task Force replenish their supply after the holidays. Tickets start at just $7 and more information can be found at www.CantonCharge.com.
In other Charge News:
Charge acquires Johnson and draft pick from Mad
Canton sends rights to Harangody and a third round pick to Fort Wayne
The Canton Charge have acquired forward/center JaJuan Johnson (6’10”, 208, Purdue) and a first round choice in the 2013 NBA Development League Draft from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in exchange for the rights to Luke Harangody and their third round draft choice in the 2013 NBA D-League Draft. Harangody was acquired by Canton today using their waiver preference position.
Johnson was originally a first round selection (27th overall) by the Celtics in the 2011 NBA Draft. He played in 36 games with the Boston Celtics in 2011-12 and averaged 3.2 points on .446 shooting with 1.6 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 8.3 minutes per game. JaJuan has played in 13 games (all starts) with Fort Wayne this season and is averaging 13.2 points on .397 shooting with 8.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.2 blocks in 35.2 minutes per game. He has season-highs of 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks and has posted five double-doubles in his 13 games played this season.
In his four-year career at Purdue University (2007-11), he played in 140 games (117 starts) and averaged 13.7 points on .500 shooting with 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 0.7 steals in 27.5 minutes per game. He was a consensus First Team All-American during his senior campaign, where he played in 34 games (33 starts) and averaged 20.5 points on .494 shooting with 8.6 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 0.9 steals in 35.4 minutes per game.
Johnson will not be in uniform, but will be with the team for tonight’s game against Tulsa at 7:30 p.m. at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. Canton will have until Sunday to waive or place a player on the inactive list in conjunction with the transaction.
Cavaliers assign Samuels to Charge
The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned forward Samardo Samuels to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Samuels has played in 18 games (one start) this season for the Cavs, averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game.
He will be available for the Charge game tonight in Canton, against Tulsa.
Fans can stay up-to-date on team news by following the team at: @CantonCharge on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CantonCharge and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CantonCharge. – CantonCharge.com –