CANTON — Using their dominant defensive first half as the catalyst, the Canton Charge cruised past the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 96-82, in front of 2,794 at the Memorial Civic Center on Sunday evening. The win pads the Charge’s East Division leading record to 20-11, while the Mad Ants dropped to 17-13 as the season series between the two clubs ends in a 3-3 split.
After Canton pulled ahead for a 25-19 lead following the first, the Charge played one of their best defensive quarters in franchise history. The run began with Canton up 25-21 with 11:27 left in the half, the Charge forced 20 consecutive Mad Ants’ misses at one point in outscoring the visitors 33-8 the rest of the way.
The Mad Ants’ 10 second quarter points were a new franchise record low for a Canton opponent, as were their 29 total points for the half. The Charge limited the Mad Ants to 3-of-25 shooting in the second quarter (12 percent) and 11-of-45 as a team in the half (24 percent). Canton was up by as many as 31, with Arinze Onuaku’s first half double-double leading the way for a 58-29 lead at the intermission.
The Charge’s advantage was as many as 36 in the second half, as they maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Onuaku finished with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting with a career-high 18 rebounds and two steals for his fifth double-double in the last six games and ninth this season. Cleveland Cavaliers assignment Sergey Karasev netted 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting with five rebounds and a steal in 29 minutes. Jorge Gutierrez contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes. Shane Edwards added 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting in 33 minutes for Canton.
Detroit Pistons assignment Peyton Siva led Fort Wayne with 21 points and six assists in 28 minutes off the bench. Darnell Lazare added 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting in 19 minutes of relief. The Mad Ants reserves scored 52 of the team’s 82 points on the night.