HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, got off to a red-hot start and never looked back, leading by as many as 47 points in a 121-83 win over the Windy City Bulls Monday night.
Maine (23-9) held Windy City (12-20) to the third lowest scoring total in franchise history, and lowest since 2016. The Red Claws had six players in double-digits, led by Jaysean Paige with 19 points and 7 assists. Wayne Blackshear added 17 points, while Bryce Brown added 15 while going 5-8 from three-point range. Kaiser Gates recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Yante Maten also scored 14. Sheldon Jeter added 13 points in the win, while Tacko Fall finished with 8 points and 12 rebounds.
Windy City was led by Simisola Shittu with 26 points.
The Red Claws fed Tacko early for two easy dunks. A Brown three followed by a Gates three gave Maine a lightning quick 10-0 start. The Claws surged to a 14-0 start, and Gates’ three made it 19-4 halfway through the quarter. Maine would extend to 23-4 before Windy City stopped the run. Windy City went just 5-22 from the field in the first quarter, and Maine led 28-11 after one.
In the 2nd, Thomas Wilder put back an offensive rebound to cap a 7-0 Bulls run. John Bohannon ended that with a two-handed slam the other way. Brown buried another three to put Maine up 33-13. Maine’s hot shooting from the outside continued, with Brown and Gates filling it up. Wayne Blackshear’s layup made it 48-17 halfway through the 2nd. Tre’Darius McCallum buried a three to cut the deficit down to 23, and Maine led 59-36 at the half. Maine shot 53% (21-40) from the field in the first half, and out-rebounded the Bulls 33-17. Windy City was just 3-15 from three-point range in the first two periods.
Tacko opened the second half with another dunk, and Brown knocked in yet another trey to put Maine up 24. Gates and Waters kept the pressure on, as the lead swelled over 30 points. Tacko’s dunk followed by a Paige bucket made it 93-58 Claws. Paige’s impossible shot at the buzzer gave Maine a 101-60 lead after 3.
Trey Davis kept the foot on the gas pedal in the 4th, with his finger roll putting Maine up 45 at 112-67. The Red Claws would roll from there. Maine wound up shooting 51% (43-85) from the field, 39% (17-44) from three-point range, and 9-10 from the free throw line. Windy City shot 34% (33-97) from the floor, just 22% (6-27) from downtown, and 7-16 from the charity stripe.