The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, used a strong offensive first half to cruise to a 101-91 road win over Erie Thursday night.
Marcus Georges-Hunt led Maine with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Asauhn Dixon-Tatum finished with a career high 18 points to go with 10 boards, and Jalen Jones tallied 18 points after missing the last game due to a concussion. Damion Lee added a double-double as well with 14 points and 12 boards, while Demetrius Jackson, on assignment from the Boston Celtics, finished near a triple-double with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists in the win.
The game started evenly, with Erie (1-6) jumping out to an early 17-15 lead. Jackson made the final seven points of the 1st quarter for Maine (6-2), including an emphatic dunk and a three-pointer, both which evened the score. Gabe York’s bucket at the end of the quarter gave Erie a 31-29 lead after one.
In the 2nd quarter, the Red Claws offense came to life. Jason Calliste dropped in a three-ball that gave the Claws the lead. Maine then went on a 12-2 run, with Lee’s runner giving the Claws a 50-39 lead. The Bayhawks would hang around, but Maine out-scored Erie 35-25 in the period, and took a 64-56 lead into the locker rooms. Jackson had 13 points and 6 assists at the half, and the Red Claws shot 50% (12-24) from downtown in the half.
Things slowed way down in the 3rd quarter. Both teams struggled to find the basket, but the Red Claws managed to extend their lead. Jackson’s steal turned into a big slam dunk for Jones at the other end. Maine out-scored Erie 18-15 in the 3rd quarter, and took an 80-69 advantage into the final period.
In the 4th quarter, Lee took a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a lay-in to put the Claws up 13. Ramon Galloway’s three-point play made it 90-82, just an eight point advantage, but J.J. Panoske drilled a three the other way to right the ship. Stephen Zimmerman, on assignment from the Orlando Magic, put home a tough shot for two of his 20 (to go with 16 rebounds) to cut it to just six points with 2:31 to go. Out of the timeout, Georges-Hunt put in a strong drive to the basket. Dixon-Tatum slammed home two more to make it 99-89 in the final minute, as the Red Claws put it away. Maine scored just 37 points in the second half, after 64 in the first half. The Claws shot 44% (38-86) from the field and 35% (13-37) from three-point range, while shooting 86% (12-14) from the free throw line. Erie scored just 35 in the 2nd half, shooting 42% (35-84) from the floor for the game, 35% (6-17) from downtown, and 88% (15-17) from the charity stripe.