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Springfield Armor continue winning ways, with Big Four leading the way

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Chris Marion Photography

The Armor, who started slower than their parent club, continued winning Sunday, defeating the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers affiliate, 110-97, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Again, it was the Armor's Big Four -- Devin Ebanks, Darius Johnson-Odom, Khalif Wyatt and Willie Reed -- who led the way.

The Armor has now won 10 of their last 14 games and is

Ebanks, who joined the Armor a week ago, scored 31 points on 12-of-20 shooting, including a torrid 5-of-6 from downtown.  The 6'9" small forward is averaging 26.8 in four games with the Armor.  Reed, now in his second year with Springfield, had another double-double, 21 points and 13 boards, while DJO and Wyatt, the Armor backcourt, split 40 points  Canton's Jorge Gutierrez, who played well for the Nets in training camp, had 13 points and nine assists.

A tight first quarter score turned into a double figure lead at halftime for the Armor as Springfield used four double digit scorers, led by Devin Ebanks’ 11, for a 55-42 lead at the break. The Armor played to a three-point lead after one quarter, but the defense buckled down in the second, allowing Canton to score just 19 points while Springfield put up 29 backed by Ebanks’ nine in the frame.

Canton’s Shane Edwards was the game’s leading scorer through the first 24 minutes with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, but the Charge were able to put just 22 points on the board in the paint compared to the Armor’s 36 down low.

After entering the second half with a 13-point edge, Springfield’s lead was whittled down as the Charge eventually tied the game with 1:24 left in the third. The Armor responded with a 6-2 run, but Canton’s Will Cherry drilled a trey with less than two seconds left to pull the Charge back within one at 80-79 entering the fourth.

With just a one-point edge heading into the final frame, Springfield’s offense awoke after being outscored 37-25 in the third. The Armor built a nine-point cushion with just over four minutes to play before finishing off the game on a 9-3 run through the final two minutes for a 110-97 victory.

Ebanks scored 12 points in the fourth quarter on his way to a game-high 31, playing all 48 minutes. It was just the third time that Springfield put three or more players past the 20-point threshold, improving to 3-0 when accomplishing the feat.

All five of Canton’s starters reached double digit scoring totals, led by the duo of Edwards and Kevin Jones with 24 apiece as Jones added a game-high 17 boards for his fifth straight double-double. The Charge offense outscored the Armor 22-13 on second chance points, holding a 10-board edge on the glass, 46-36, but Springfield was hot from beyond the arc, knocking down 9-of-17 attempts from three-point land.

The Armor will complete a four-game home stretch Monday night against the Erie BayHawks at 7:00 p.m. inside the MassMutual Center.