PORTLAND - The Maine Red Claws (19-13) saw a seven-point lead late in the fourth shrink to just two but held on for an exciting win over the visiting Springfield Armor (9-21) at the Portland Expo Building on Sunday afternoon, 104-100.
The first quarter started off all Springfield, with Carleton Scott coming out with back-to-back three pointers to open, but the Red Claws battled back with Chris Wright and Garrett Stutz picking up a couple baskets in the paint and Micah Downs hitting a three pointer to take an early 7-6 lead. Downs would score four more after that to start a 10-3 run capped by Wright's free throws. The Armor's Kenny Adeleke combined with Scott to pull the Armor within five, 33-28 after one.
Wright and Stutz got the second quarter going for Maine, pushing the lead to seven before Scott found his hot hand again, cutting the lead to one. But the quarter would swing back in Maine's favor with Shelvin Mack and Xavier Silas joining Wright and Stutz to push the lead back up to 10. The Armor would chip away at the lead and cut it to 56-50 at the half.
The Red Claws quickly got their lead back to 10 before Willie Reed and Ben Uzoh sparked a 16-4 run to take a 64-64 lead midway through the quarter. Downs would start an 8-3 run to end the third quarter. Springfield's Ramone Moore hit a shot at the buzzer to cut the Maine lead to 72-70.
Moore knocked down a jumper to start the fourth quarter and tie the score, but Silas would hit back-to-back jumpers to start an 11-4 run that was capped off by a Downs three pointer to take the lead to 83-76. Springfield battled back, but Maine went on another scoring spurt, led by Mack, to regain a nine-point cushion. Springfield's Ben Uzoh took over the game trying to will the Armor back into the contest, scoring nine in the last three minute to cut the lead to 102-100 before Omar Reed salted away the win with two free throws in the final second.
Leading the Armor was Carleton Scott, who had a season high 26 points to go with seven rebounds. Also chipping in were Uzoh (16 points, five assists), Paul Carter (15 points, 10 rebounds), Willie Reed (12 points, seven rebounds) and Christian Polk (10). Moore scored seven while handing out six assists.
The Red Claws got a monstrous double-double from Wright (25 points, 17 rebounds) in the win. Maine was also keyed by Downs (21), Mack (16 points, nine assists, five rebounds), Stutz (11 points, seven rebounds), Silas (10) and Chris Ayer (9).
The Red Claws will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Rio Grande Valley for an 8 PM tilt.