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Up the road, the Windsor Spitfires were in London to face off against the Knights. Back home, outside, the wind was blowing hard and bone chilling. Inside, the heat was definitely turned up as the Windsor Express took to the court against the London Lightning. A competitive match would end in London’s favour though. The Lightning put a stop to the Express as London defeated Windsor 97-93 Saturday night at the WFCU Centre.
Having a huge game for the Express was DeAndre Thomas. He scored a game-leading 22 points and had 6 rebounds. Stefan Bonneau netted 20 points while grabbing 8 assists.
For London, Garrett Williamson (21 points) and Jason Forte (20 points, 16 rebounds) were key players in the victory.
Windsor ran into some foul troubles early in the game, which gave London the upper hand. The Express soon got back into the swing of things, thanks in part to DeAndre Thomas. He had a strong first quarter (and rest of game) with some blocks and rebounds. After the opening twelve minutes, Windsor was up by two.
The Express really gathered speed in the second. Solid defensive effort was evident (Stefan Bonneau was called for goaltending after a leaping block.) Despite the call, Windsor kept rolling. Kevin Loiselle drove hard to the net for the basket. Chris Commons landed a three-pointer. Later, he came back down the court to block from behind. With the pace picked up, the Express led 45-36 at halftime.
To start the second half, Windsor went right back to where they left off. An opening steal by Thomas led to the easy lay-up. The play was answered with a monstrous alley-oop from London. The Express kept their cool though. They stayed defensive, and that allowed Loiselle to pick off a pass. The steal set up a big three-point shot from Darren Duncan. A technical foul against the Lightning coach gave Windsor a four-point play, and a nine-point lead with one quarter to go.
The Express Nation was loud for its team. Cheers and jeers sounded loudly inside the WFCU Centre.
In the fourth, the skies began to cloud up for Windsor. The team was having a hard time scoring. As a result, the Lightning were able to catch up in the second half of the quarter. They came within one with less than four minutes to play, and eventually, grabbed the lead with a timely three-pointer. Windsor was fortunate as they received more and more foul shots. Again, however, London sank opportune threes to take the lead. A Windsor free throw tied the game. The Lightning followed it up with a deafening alley-oop to go up by two with 28.8 seconds remaining. The visitors held on and stopped the Express as Windsor comes up short 97-93.
Both Windsor teams lost by four points; the Spitfires lost 4-0 against a tough Knights team.
The Express will be back on the hardwood next Sunday, December 1st when they welcome, for the first time, the Ottawa Skyhawks at 2pm.