The basketball gods giveth and taketh with impunity as the Canton Charge (2-3) was able to defeat the Bakersfield Jam (2-5) 100-98 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center this past Saturday Night. This game marked the 100th regular season home game for the five year old franchise and helped take the sting out of the last second defeat from the previous Saturday.
This game was the only regular season match-up between the two teams and things got physical early on in the first quarter. Hot off a win against Fort Wayne last Wednesday, Canton’s Quinn Cook resumed his hot hand shooting with ten first quarter points making the stats in just the first quarter. The Charge as a whole was good for 50% or 10-of-20. Bakersfield answer was Earl Clark who was equally good for ten of his own but it was a Cook three pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the quarter that pulled the Charge up to 26-22 going into the second quarter.
In the second time period, the Charge forged ahead by eleven points but the Jam got physical under the basket holding the Charge to 23% coupled with a 9-0 run bringing Bakersfield to within 2. Not to be denied, Michael Dunigan dropped in a free throw to stop the run. Xavier Munford was good for eight Jam points in the period. Earl Cook made good with a hook shot as the clock hit 43 seconds tying the game at 40 all, but it was Dunigan again at the charity stripe who split a pair giving the Charge a 41-40 advantage going into the rest period.
Throughout the game the thud of the ball and squeak of the shoes was constantly being interrupted by whistle after whistle with the advantage seemingly going to the opposite side of the floor. After a rest, both teams battled for control as the lead changed ten times in just the third quarter. It was Dunigan and Cook who combined for 17 points that kept yeller fellers in the game. Leading by one at 66-65 with just 1:54 left to go in the quarter, charge Guard JerShon Cobb doubled on the threes, bringing the crowd to their feet after the Charge was able to block a shot by the Jam’s Xavier Munford as the Charge went on top 74-67 going into the fourth.
Canton played it smart in the fourth by putting the ball into the capable hands of Cook whose eight fourth quarter points help finish off the Jam. It was Dunigan’s five points in the fourth that stemmed off a Bakersfield comeback effort. Down by two, Bakersfield Terrico White sent an air ball three pointer wide of the rim at the buzzer as the Charge slapped each other on the back for the 100-98 win.
The formidable duo of Quinn Cook and Michael Dunigan impressed for the second straight game. Cook finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while adding five rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes. Dunigan added 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, bringing in seven rebounds and dishing two assists in 34 workman-like minutes. Joe Harris, on assignment from the Cavaliers, poured in 16 points while nabbing five rebounds in 34 minutes of action. The Charge shot 46% from the field, assisting on 21 of their 35 field goals.
Bakersfield was led by Earl Clark’s 24 points and nine rebounds in 39 minutes. Xavier Munford provided 20 points off the bench for the Jam. C.J. Wilcox, on assignment from the Los Angeles Clippers, had 18 points on an efficient 7-of-11 from the field.
Canton will next hit the road for a matchup with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers affiliate) on Friday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m. The Charge are back home on Saturday, December 5th to face the Iowa Energy (Memphis Grizzlies affiliate) at 7:00 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, head to www.CantonCharge.com.
2015-16 single game tickets and Charge Nation Memberships are on sale now starting at just $8 per game! Premium Memberships are also available, which include courtside seating and dining access in the Courtside Club presented by Budweiser starting at just $40 per game! Group discounts are available for parties of 20 or more, with Fan Experience Packages such as being a part of the high five tunnel or playing on the Charge court! For 2015-16 Charge Nation Memberships, game day promotions, and up-to-date information, head to www.CantonCharge.com or call 866-444-1944.
The Canton Charge is part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Majority Owner and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, both of which play their games at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.