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Willie Reed continues monster streak, but Springfield Armor lose

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Springfield Armor

Willie Reed, the Armor's 6'10" power forward, put on another show Monday night, scoring a career high 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting and grabbing 13 boards, but the Armor lost to the Erie BayHawks at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.  Over the last six games, Reed, 23, has averaged 21 points and  13.1 rebounds, all but one a double-double.

Reed, who played at Springfield last season and then had a short run with the Grizzlies, has been among the Armor's biggest development successes.  His play is a big reason for the Armor's success, going 10-5 over the last 15. The other big reasons, Ex-Lakers Darius Johnson-Odom and Devin Ebanks, also played well in the loss, DJO finishing with 20 points and 8 assists, Ebanks, averaging close to 25 points since joining the Armor, finished with 26 points, hitting 4-of-8 from deep. The 6'9" small forward is shooting 52 percent from three-point range since joining the Armor five games ago.  It was the first time in four games that the three scored 20 points and the Armor lost.

Erie (12-26) shot out of the gates with a blistering 75 percent from the field in the first quarter on its way to a 37-33 advantage entering the second.

The Armor (16-22) were able to get to the line often, knocking down all seven attempts from the charity stripe as guard Larry Anderson went 5-for-5, but the freebie efficiency wasn't enough to escape an early hole.

The BayHawks cooled in the second half, but not by much as Erie ended the half shooting 69 percent and holding a 73-67 lead. Springfield battled back, falling behind by as many as 14 before closing on a 7-0 run to pull within six. Armor forwards Devin Ebanks and Willie Reed led all scorers at the break with 15 apiece, but four of the five BayHawk starters reached double figures, while the Erie bench went 8-for-8 from the field for a 17-11 edge over the Springfield reserves.

Springfield roared back in the second half, tying the game at 103 with just over six minutes remaining in the fourth. From that point forward, the score never wavered by more than four points until the final minute when the BayHawks were able to open up a 118-113 margin. The Armor once again clawed back, pulling within one point at 120-119 after one of three treys by Darius Johnson-Odom with 40 seconds to play.

Erie's defense clamped down over the final 30 seconds, forcing an Anderson turnover that led to a pair of free throws from Lewis Jackson with eight seconds remaining, his two biggest points of a 27-point performance. The Armor hoisted a final attempt at the buzzer, but L.D. Williams' 26-footer as time expired fell just shy as the BayHawks held on for the 122-119 victory.

Said Doug Overton of Reed, "He's playing the way he played to get called up."  In less than a week, the St. Louis product moved from No. 23 on the D-League Prospect Watch to No. 14.

Along with Lewis' 27, Scott Suggs also poured in 27 on 9-of-16 shooting as the BayHawks hit 61 percent of their shots from the field. Erie edged Springfield in the rebounding facet 38-35 and outran the Armor on fast break points, 20-10.