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Sunday January 11th, 2015

Posted at 10:00am

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The game nearly came down to the wire Saturday night in Windsor. A 26-point Express lead was cut down to just 2 points early in the fourth quarter before Ryan Anderson stepped in. Anderson made three quick three-pointers to shift the game back into Windsor’s favour. The Express went on to beat the Mill Rats of Saint John 124-112.

Three Windsor players finished with points in the mid-twenties. DeAndre Thomas put up 26 big points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Quinnel Brown scored 24 points, while Tony Bennett had 23 points and 9 assists. Ryan Anderson went a perfect 5/5 with his three-pointers.

The Express were hot right from the hop. They were forcing turnovers early, and coming up with timely steals. Windsor’s pressure was a little too much for Saint John, but the visitors hung on. The Mill Rats wouldn’t fall behind and even pulled off a crowd-quieting dunk. However, the Express had powerful plays down low. DeAndre Thomas was next to unstoppable on his way to the basket. A last second three-point shot from Saint John narrowed the lead as Windsor was up 34-26 after one.

Windsor had some early frustrations in the second quarter and they started getting the best of the Express players. Saint John was able to capitalize on the emotions and slowly caught up. However, Brown and Bennett stepped up for back-to-back threes to shift the energy back to their team. Brown would sink one last giant three-pointer with less than a second to play in the quarter. The basket extended Windsor’s lead to 16; the team was up 66-50 at the half.

Brown’s strong gameplay carried into the second half. in one of his best performances, the Windsor forward put in hard work at both ends, and was all over the court. His efforts, along with Windsor’s offensive power gave the Express a 26-point lead. Just when it seemed that the game was put away, the Mill Rats came to life. Since Windsor’s highest lead of the game, Saint John closed the gap by outscoring the Express 29-11. The visitors caught up in a major way, cutting the lead to just 8 points after three quarters.

Early on in the fourth, the Express had to be careful as the Mill Rats crept to within two points. The rally forced a Windsor timeout as the team tried to collect themselves and refocus. The Express were in trouble, but they found their answer in Ryan Anderson. In a span of two minutes, the sharpshooter went 3/3 with his three three-point shots to quickly tilt the game back in his team’s favour. After the third basket, he ran down the court firing up the crowd. This time, Saint John was in a tough spot and called a timeout. The energy had shifted, though, and the Express pulled away late. Windsor held on to its lead and defeated the Mill Rats 124-112.

The Express head to Brampton early in the week before heading for an eastern road trip next weekend. They will be back to play at Caesar’s Windsor on Wednesday, January 21st at 7pm against the Halifax Rainmen.

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