CLEVELAND, OH – On Monday night, the Cleveland Charge welcomed back the Windy City Bulls. Last week, the Bulls came to Cleveland and took the Charge down to the wire. The Charge survived the scare with 28 points each from Sharife Cooper and Jamorko Pickett. The Charge are coming in winners of their last 4 games. They are 10-4 in the season which is good for 1st place in the central region, and 3rd best record overall. They will look to continue to defend their homecourt and stay perfect at home.
Early Battle in Cleveland
Early in the game, the Windy City Bulls were locked in. The Bulls forced multiple Charge turnovers that they turned into offense. Windy City jumped out to a quick 15-8 lead. The Charge battled their way back in the quarter and eventually tied the game. Ball control was a big concern for the Charge in the opening frame as they turned the ball over 8 times. Scoring was easy to come by for both teams early on. For the Charge, Nate Hinton dropped in 9 points thanks to three 3-pointers. Mamadi Diakite led the way for the Charge, scoring 11 in the first quarter. The Bulls had a balanced scoring attack in the opening quarter. Marko Simonovic led the way with 7.
Bulls Try to Pull Away
In the second quarter, the Bulls continued to lock down on the defensive end. They held the Charge to just 20 points in the quarter on 6/21 shooting. They played especially good defense on the Charge’s leading scorer Sharife Cooper. Through the first half, Cooper had tallied all but 2 points. On the offensive end for the Bulls, they were dominating the paint. They scored 24 points in the paint compared to the Charge’s 12. Carlik Jones and Malcolm Hill were leading the push for the Bulls. At the end of the half, they each had 14 points. The Bulls held a 56-47 lead at the end of the first half.
Cleveland Charges Back
The 3rd quarter was time to fight back into the game for the Charge. It was also time for Sharife Cooper to get going. Cleveland got scoring early in the frame and did not let up. Cooper led the way in the 3rd for Cleveland. After being held to 2 points on 1/6 shooting, Cooper had 15 points on 5/5 shooting in the quarter. The Charge owned the paint in the 3rd as well. They outscored the Bulls 18-10 in the paint. Cooper was getting his teammates involved throughout as well. At the end of the 3rd, he had 17 points and 12 assists. The Charge took the lead heading into the final quarter with a score of 81-79.
Charge Close Out
Early in the 4th, the Charge picked up right where they left off. Cleveland got out on the offensive end hitting shot after shot. They extended their lead out to 10 points midway through the 4th. The Bulls would not go away easily though. Windy City fought back to get the game to within 3 points on multiple occasions. However, the Charge would not let the game slip away. At the end of the game, the Charge came out on top 114-108. With this win, the Charge moved to 8-0 at home and 11-4 overall this season.
Sharife Cooper: 30 points, 17 assists (franchise record), 10/17 FG
Mamadi Diakite: 23 points, 6 rebounds
Sam Merrill: 21 points, 7/9 3-point FG
Windy City Bulls
Carlik Jones: 36 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds
Ethan Thompson: 19 points
Malcolm Hill: 17 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds
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