PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, got off to a very slow start and could not overcome the deficit, falling to the Wisconsin Herd Friday night, 106-94.
Maine (4-11) was led by Justin Bibbs with 22 points in his first start of the season. Nick King added 21 points off the bench, while Vitto Brown added 16 points in the loss.
Wisconsin (3-13) led by as many as 26 in the first half, only to have Maine cut it to two in the third quarter. The Herd were led by Milwaukee Bucks assignee Christian Wood with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Two-Way Player D.J. Wilson added 21 points and 11 boards in the win, while former Red Claw James Young also scored 21.
Andrew White started the Maine scoring with a triple to put the Claws up 3-2. D.J. Wilson was a one man show in the early minutes, quickly scoring the Herd’s first 7 points. Wisconsin started hot, making 5 of its first 8 shots and taking a 12-5 lead. Christian Wood beat the shot clock with a corner three, putting the Herd up 9. Former Red Claw James Young knocked in a 3 of his own to extend the lead to 12. Wilson did it all on both ends of the floor, scoring 14 in the first – Wisconsin did not turn the ball over in the first quarter, and led 38-15 after 1. Maine shot just 3-13 from downtown in the first quarter.
In the second, Bibbs scored on a dunk, then followed that up with a three-pointer. The Herd continued to be unstoppable on offense, with Wilson slamming home another bucket to put Wisconsin up 47-22. The Claws would go on a 10-2 run from there to close it to 17. Quentin DeCosey’s bucket made it 49-37. When the dust settled on the half, Wisconsin led, 56-41. Maine shot 5-18 from three in the half, while Wisconsin was 7-17.
In the third, Vitto Brown opened with a pair of three-pointers to make it an 11 point game. Bibbs, Brown and Bohannon would help make it a 2 point game. Wisconsin righted the ship, with Young knocking in a deep three as well as a long two. The Herd got it back to 10. The Herd led 82-69 after three.
Wood drove and scored to open the fourth with his 20th points of the night. Dozier’s put-back answered, and Nick King’s three made it a 10 point game. The Claws went on a 9-0 run to make it 86-80. King and Bibbs hit back-to-back buckets. Wood answered on the other end. Ultimately, the Red Claws ran out of time, unable to get past the 10-point threshold down the stretch.
Maine shot 43% (37-86) from the floor, and 26.8% (11-41) from three-point range, while going 9-10 from the free throw line. Wisconsin shot 46.2% (24-91) from the field, 35.5% (11-31) from deep, and 11-17 from the charity stripe.