CANTON, OH – The Canton Charge (12-18), powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, fell to the Central Division leading Fort Wayne Mad Ants (15-14) 116-102 Saturday night in front of 3,262 fans at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. The Charge have lost four straight against divisional foes and three in a row overall.
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back for just the second time this season, the Charge endured a stagnant first quarter, managing 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting (33%). Fort Wayne capitalized, forcing nine turnovers in the first 12 minutes of action. Mad Ants’ forward Omari Johnson poured in 13 first quarter points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point distance. The Mad Ants shot 50% from the field and jumped out to a 31-13 lead after one period.
Canton found its legs in the second period behind Levi Randolph’s 14 points (6-of-6 shooting). Canton assisted on 8-of-12 made baskets. Fort Wayne’s Demetrius Denzel-Dyson scored 12 second quarter points, helping the visitors push their lead to as many as 23. The Mad Ants connected on 10-of-20 three point attempts in the first half (50%) while holding the Charge to 13% (1-of-8) from beyond the arc. Never trailing in the first half, the Mad Ants entered the break with a 60-45 lead.
The Mad Ants remained in control during the third quarter with another hot shooting performance in which they connected on 11-of-17 attempts (65%). Canton cut the lead to 63-54 with 8:07 remaining in the third before Fort Wayne responded with a 5-0 run to push the lead back to 14. Ike Nwamu scored as time expired in the third to give the Mad Ants an 85-63 lead after three.
Canton would cut the lead to 10 in the fourth under the nine minute mark, but Fort Wayne responded to push the lead back to as many as 20 to hold on for the wire-to-wire win.
JaCorey Williams scored a team-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting in 35 minutes. Randolph provided 21 points off of the bench on 9-of-16 shooting. Kobi Simmons had a balanced effort with nine points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Seven Mad Ants scored in double figures lead by Rob Gray and Omari Johnson’s 24 points each. The Mad Ants have won three straight games at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.
The Charge continue their homestand this Wednesday, January 30th for an 11:00 AM matchup with the Maine Red Claws (TV: Facebook Live; Radio: 99.7 FM)! For Charge Nation Memberships, group outings, game day promotions and up-to-date information, head to CantonCharge.com or call 866-444-1944. The Canton Charge are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and are also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Chairman and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League, who play their games at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
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. Fans can download the new Canton Charge App on their smartphone via the iTunes Store or Google Play Store.