The BayHawks' season-long struggle against the Maine Red Claws continued yesterday in a 102-95 loss at Maine. Erie is now 0-6 against the Red Claws. Their seventh and final meeting will take place on April 3, the last game of the season for both teams.
Danny Green was recalled by the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to this game, leaving the BayHawks to fend for themselves without the aid of Green, who led the team in scoring in their previous game.
John Bryant got the start at center and came through in a big way, scoring 32 points on 14-20 shooting while adding 12 rebounds. He did have 5 turnovers, however.
Ivan Harris and Jackie Manuel started at forward. Harris was 4-8 for 9 points in 27 minutes. Manuel played a team-high 46 minutes. It took him 16 shots to score 16 points, but he did chip in with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and a steal.
At guard, Cedric Jackson got the start despite severely bruised ribs, an injury he suffered Friday against Dakota. He scored 19 points on 7-13 shooting, but he had just 4 assists with 3 turnovers. Mike Gansey had 7 assists as the starting shooting guard, but he scored just 6 points, shooting 3-14 overall, 0-6 from downtown.
The mystery of Alade Aminu continues to be a storyline for the BayHawks. The lone BayHawk to be named a D-League All-Star, Aminu went into the all-star break in a bit of a slump, and he has yet to emerge in no small part because he hasn't received the playing time. He played just 13:24 in this one, scoring 4 points on 2-3 shooting and grabbing 3 rebounds in the short time he was on the floor.
The BayHawks followed up a 35-point first quarter with 37 points combined in the second and third quarters. The game was tied at 54 at the half, but Maine scored the first 7 points of the third quarter, and Erie never regained the lead after that.
Erie falls to 13-24 on the season, ahead of only Springfield in the East Conference standings. Their flickering playoff hopes are now nothing more than a dream as they sit 6.5 games behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot with just 13 games to play.
And things don't get any easier. Up next for the BayHawks is a two-game set against the East Conference leading Iowa Energy, another team Erie has not beaten all season (0-8). Erie will host the Energy this Friday and Saturday at Tullio Arena.