Portland, ME — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, turned a tie game at halftime into a comfortable victory, cruising in the second half to a 119-106 win over the Erie Bayhawks.
Maine (28-11) was led by Tremont Waters, who finished with 26 points and 7 assists. Bryce Brown added 24 points, including 8 made three-pointers. Tacko Fall added his 16th double-double of the season with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Yante Maten and Sheldon Jeter each scored 14 points, while Trey Davis added 11 and Jaysean Paige 10.
Erie (11-28) was led by Josh Gray, who finished with 26 points. Jalen Adams added 23 points off the bench, while former Red Claw Vitto Brown scored 17 points in the loss.
The Bayhawks started the game scoring two quick buckets. Waters stopped that with a three-pointer the other way. Alexander-Walker buried a three to give Erie an early 10-3 lead. Brown buried a three to extend the Erie run to 11-0. Waters again stopped it with a three. Waters tried to single-handedly keep Maine in the game, scoring 11 of the Claws’ first 13 points. Zylan Cheatham’s three-point play followed by a monster dunk put Erie up 26-13. The Bayhawks shot an astounding 70% (14-20) from the floor in the first quarter, taking a 35-26 lead after 1.
Sheldon Jeter opened the 2nd with a three. Brown got Maine back into the game with back-to-back threes, cutting the deficit to 3. Jalen Adams stopped that with a bucket for the Bayhawks. Brown hit a cutting Jaysean Paige for an easy lay-up, and Maten’s huge slam tied the game at 52 right before the buzzer. Maine shot 45.2% (19-42) from the field in the half, while Erie cooled off to just under 47% (21-45).
In the 3rd, Brown’s three put Maine up 3. Tacko heated up, scoring 6 quick points, all from close range. Maten threw home a dunk on a feed from Waters, and Waters himself went through a defender’s legs for a lay-up. The Red Claws opened up a double-digit lead, out-scoring Erie 31-20 in the period. The Red Claws led, 83-72 after 3.
Paige kept the pressure on in the 4th, feeding Jeter for an easy lay-in. The lead swelled to 18 with a Jeter three. Erie answered with a couple of quick buckets to cut it to 97-83. Waters stopped the run with a three. The Red Claws would cruise to victory after swelling to a 20 point lead.
Maine wound up shooting 52.3% (46-98) from the field, 51.4% (18-35) from three-point range, and 6-10 from the free throw line. Erie shot 46.2% (43-93) from the floor, 38.9% (14-36) from beyond the arc, and 4-8 from the charity stripe.
The Red Claws return to action Friday against Grand Rapids.