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Friday January 22nd, 2016

Posted at 9:55pm

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A rivalry like no other continued Friday night as the Windsor Express welcomed the London Lightning to town. Former Express star Kevin Loiselle made his infamous return to the WFCU Centre, this time wearing black and yellow. He and his Lightning teammates powered past an Express rally and handed Windsor a 123-115 loss.

Tony Bennett scored 32 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Chris Commons and Maurice Bolden each put up 17 points in the loss.

The Lightning were hot from the get-go and showed that they would be tough to contest with. The visitors started the game out-scoring Windsor 9-0. The Express had a hard time mounting offense, but their defense stepped up. Maurice Bolden had himself a huge block on Loiselle late. As well, the rest of the Express settled down and held off the Lightning. Still, London built a significant lead before the end of the quarter.

The game took a physical turn early in the second, as it typically does between these two rivals. Fighting through, Windsor began finding a rhythm. Slowly, though, the Lightning stole the Express’ thunder. The visitors hit three-pointers that temporarily slowed down the train. Windsor wouldn’t be derailed for long, however. In just over five minutes, the Express dominated the floor, going on a 18-2 run before the end of the quarter. At the half, Windsor trailed London 58-51.

With the momentum shifted, the Express were now controlling the pace of the game. Early on in the third, Brandon Robinson set up Bolden for a thunderous alley-oop. It seemed as if Bolden floated in the air before slamming down the ball. As if that wasn’t enough, Tony Bennett sank a clean three-pointer to give Windsor its first advantage of the night. The Express went on a flurry, quickly adding baskets against the Lightning. Chris Commons made it look easy as he casually hit a three-point shot in the late stages of the quarter. A pair of London baskets in the last 32 seconds had Windsor up by eight by the end of the third.

Their lead quickly faded from their reach as the Lightning landed three three-point shots to start the final quarter. London snatched the lead away – again, only temporarily. The Express regained what they had lost. Swift plays up the court kept them on top. The Lightning narrowed the lead, though, cutting it to just two points. Soon, they would even the game – and then steal the lead. The game was coming down to the wire. With less than a minute to go, the Express found themselves down by four. London hit one last near full-court alley-oop to put the exclamation point on an intense battle. Windsor’s rally fell short as the Express dropped a 123-115 decision to the Lightning.

Windsor returns tomorrow night to the WFCU Centre to host the Niagara River Lions at 7:30pm.

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