The Go-Go returned to the comfort of the Entertainment and Sports Arena after traveling up I-95 Friday evening and dropping a nail biter against the Delaware Blue Coats. Capital City continued their hot shooting and defended the three point line well, holding the Charge to 28% shooting from beyond the arc, en route to a 113-108 victory on Saturday night. Both teams came out in attack mode in a game that ultimately saw 17 lead changes and the score knotted up 12 times. It was a tightly contested battle throughout and the Go-Go got key stops down the stretch and converted on the offensive end to come away with the victory.
Dean Wade started off hot for the Charge, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the first quarter. He scored off pick and pops, had a couple of put backs and showed he can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket as well. Point Guard Malik Newman put tremendous pressure on the Go-Go defenders, getting into the lane, penetrating and finding open shooters. The Charge was definitely clicking on all cylinders early but the Go-Go was able to keep pace going into the second quarter trailing by four.
The Charge had a few guys come out hot in the first half with three players scoring 43 of their 60 points while the Go-Go used a more balanced attack. Ball movement was crisp and Capital City did not discriminate when it came to scoring as they racked up 17 assists as a team as opposed to the Charge’s five. The Charge’s aggression did pay off as they got to the free throw line eight times and the GoGo only managed three trips to the charity stripe in the first half. This is a sizable advantage with the implementation of the new free throw rules in the G-League this year. Admiral Schofield used some colorful language to express his displeasure with the officiating and earned a technical foul for his efforts at the 3:58 mark in the second quarter.
The GoGo was able to stay within striking distance as they shot 51.2% from the field and 35.3% from deep while simultaneously holding the Charge to 43.5% from the field and 26.3% from three point range. Canton used the free throw discrepancy, a strong rebounding effort and a few second chance opportunities to maintain their four point lead throughout the second quarter and take a small lead into the break.
Apparently the refs did not take to Admiral Schofield’s spirited advice in the second quarter because the Charge’s free throw advantage grew to 16 to five in the third frame. But the Go-Go was able to go up by two by the end of the period. They continued to move the ball well and make every player a threat. The Charge defense was off balance and could not figure out a way to consistently disrupt the Go-Go offense. Every player was involved in the game and the wealth was definitely spread evenly as no Go-Go player attempted more than 10 shots while three players were tied with the least amount of field goal attempts at six through three quarters. The Go-Go also kept up their defensive intensity as the Charge continued to shoot poorly, ending the third quarter with a frigid 41.8% from the field.
The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair much like the rest of the game. The Charge jumped out to a seven point lead before the Go-Go was able to respond with a run of their own to go up by three. Capital City was able to close the game out behind Justin Robinson’s six points in the final 4:51 of the game. It was a very solid offensive showing as the Go-Go showed no signs of stagnation or futility on that end even with two of their best scorers out. Jalen Jones was nursing a left leg injury while Chris Chiozza is currently fulfilling two-way duties with the Wizards. The Go-Go had eight players score in double figures as they piled up 28 team assists.
The Go-Go have shown that they can compete with the best teams in the league as the played the third place team down to the wire on Friday and earned a victory over the second place team on Saturday. They currently stand at 6-6 but the coaching staff acknowledges that they could easily be much higher in the standings if a few more balls bounce their way throughout the course of the season.
The Go-Go will be back in action next week as they travel to take on the College Park Skyhawks and Lakeland Magic. Hopefully they can take their red hot shooting and defensive energy on the road as they look to head into the G-League showcase with some positive momentum.