WHITE PLAINS, March 28, 2016 – The Westchester Knicks (27-20), the official NBA Development League affiliate of the New York Knickerbockers, closed in within one game of clinching their first-ever playoff berth with a 131-115 win over the Canton Charge (31-18), the Cleveland Cavaliers’ affiliate.
Though Canton held a three minute lead midway through the first, the Knicks controlled the majority of the quarter. Westchester nabbed three offensive rebounds early in the game for six second chance points, while taking advantage of eight Charge turnovers for another 10 points. Both teams struggling from beyond the arc, success came from within the paint with both sides shooting just under sixty percent.
Westchester used a 10-2 run early in the second quarter to take a 14-point lead over Canton. The three-point struggles continued on both sides, but the teams once again made up for it in the paint. Ending with an 8-0 run of their own, the Charge cut the deficit to just six at the end of the first half.
Starting the third on a 14-2 run, the Knicks continue to rack up the points. On assignment from the New York Knicks, forward Cleanthony Early went off for 11 points in the quarter, including three shots in a row to give Westchester its biggest lead of the game with 21.
The game was all but solidified heading into the fourth, as the Knicks held on to a double-digit lead for the majority of the quarter. Knicks guard Ra’Shad James came off the bench to shoot 5-of-6 for 11 points, teaming up with Cleanthony Early for highlight-worthy plays sprinkled throughout the quarter. With Westchester’s 131-115 win, the Knicks pulled one game closer to clinching a playoff berth.
Travis Trice II paced the Knicks with 26 points, doing a little bit of everything with seven assists, five rebounds, and six steals. Jordan Bachynski followed with 25 points, notching a double-double with 10 rebounds. Ra’Shad James came off the bench for 19 points, while Cleanthony Early finished with 17. Jimmer Fredette supplied 18 points in the win, with five assists, five steals, and three rebounds.
Nick Minnerath finished with a game-high 30 points off the bench, just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. John Holland contributed 22 points and four rebounds, while Quinn Cook had 21 points and six assists. Juvonte Reddic and Michael Stockton rounded out the double-digits scorers, with 15 and 12 respectively.