PORTLAND - The Erie BayHawks (8-5) entered the night 1.5 games behind the first-place Maine Red Claws (10-6) in the East Division and by the end of the night the gap had been narrowed as the BayHawks dropped the Red Claws, 98-85 at the Portland Expo.
Maine took control of the game early, with Dajuan Summers scoring five quick points to spark a 9-3 run to begin, but Erie clawed back early and took the lead for good with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter on a Kyle Goldcamp basket. The BayHawks were unable to create much separation, however, as they closed out the first with a slim 21-18 lead. Erie's lead swelled early in the second quarter, using a 10-2 run to open the frame and a 17-5 run to push their lead to 15 midway through the quarter. The Red Claws were able to score in short spurts, with Summers and Chris Ayer chipping in, but Erie took a 54-36 lead into the locker room on the strong play of Goldcamp and the playmaking of D.J. Kennedy.
The third quarter started much like the second ended with Erie again getting out on a 13-4 run, but the Red Claws began to make some noise as Scott VanderMeer and Kris Joseph, reassigned earlier in the day from the Boston Celtics, paced an 18-6 run to close out the quarter trailing 76-62. A Summers' three-pointer at the start of the fourth cut the Erie lead to 13, but that is as close as Maine would get as the BayHawks' Nick Covington keyed another 13-4 run to put the game out of reach. Summers, Champ Oguchi and Micah Downs closed the game strong for Maine, sparking a 16-6 run to end the game, but it was too little, too late as the Red Claws fell to the BayHawks for the third straight time.
Keying Erie was Kennedy's 11 point, 12 rebound, seven assist and four steal performance. Also contributing to the victory were Goldcamp (16), Tirrell Baines (15 points, six rebounds), Henry Sims (12 points, seven rebounds), Keith Benson (10 points, eight rebounds) and Covington (9). The Red Claws were led by Summers 19 points and eight rebounds. Also chipping in for Maine were Chris Ayer (15), Oguchi (13), Downs (10 points, six rebounds) and VanderMeer (nine points, eight rebounds, five blocks).
The Red Claws will host the Canton Charge tomorrow night at 7 PM in their final home game before heading to Reno, NV for next week's NBA Development League Showcase. The BayHawks will travel to Springfield to face the Armor tomorrow night before also heading to Reno.
RED CLAWS ADD VETERAN GUARD: The Red Claws announced today that they have acquired veteran guard Andre Barrett. The 5-9, 173 lb. guard out of Seton Hall has extensive experience including 67 games in the NBA with six different NBA teams and 105 NBA Development League games and is a former NBADL All-Star. Barrett is expected to join the Red Claws following next week's Showcase.