ERIE, Pa. – Maine Coach Austin Ainge was checking his watch while walking off the court at halftime Friday night at Tullio Arena.

He already had seen enough.

Down 32 points at the half, the Red Claws lost by an even wider margin. The Erie BayHawks hammered them 120-71 before a crowd of 2,522.

“I was thoroughly embarrassed,” Ainge said. “We got thrashed in every aspect of the game. It’s a joke.”

Maine (3-5) set a franchise low for points, shooting 26.8 percent, but will have a chance to redeem itself in today’s 7 p.m. rematch at Tullio Arena.

“I just want to see some fight in my guys,” Ainge said. “I want to see some heart and some fight.”

Without injured rookie forward Tiny Gallon (back), Maine gave up an astonishing 82 points in the paint.

“It was a layup line,” Ainge said. “They just got layup after layup after layup after layup. We’re small but there’s no excuse for that.”

Every Erie player scored. Nate Linhart led the BayHawks (5-3) with 20 points.

Setting a season high in points, Erie shot 60.2 percent. It biggest lead was 53 points.

“We just didn’t play any defense,” Paul Harris of the Red Claws said. “They killed us at every position. They didn’t even kill us with jump shots. They killed us with back-door cuts. They just played fundamental basketball and we couldn’t stop nobody.”

DeShawn Sims led Maine with 22 points. Harris added 12.

“We didn’t trust each other on defense or offense,” Sims said.

Rookie point guard Sherron Collins had five points on 2-of-11 shooting in his D-League debut for Maine.

Sent down from the Charlotte Bobcats, the former Kansas All-American had one assist, turned the ball over four times and was left shaking his head.

“It was looking bad out there,” Collins said.

Having not practiced with the team, Collins said he’s trying to figure out what each player can do, but his agenda for tonight is clear.

“I’m going to go at it,” he said. “Attack more aggressively than I was (Friday). If it means scoring? I got a lot of people a lot of shots (Friday). We’ve got to make shots, too, but I’ve got to get back to my old self.”

The Red Claws were down 34-17 in the first quarter, shooting a miserable 3 of 16.

“It was like there was a lid on the basket for us,” Harris said.

With his team trailing 69-37 at the half, Ainge started Collins and Eugene Spates in place of Harris and Mario West.

“Just trying to try something,” Ainge said.

Maine missed its first 10 shots from the field to start the second half.

The Red Claws didn’t make a second-half shot until Sims scored with 5:19 left in the third quarter.


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