Express Rally For 2-0 Series Stranglehold
Wednesday March 11th, 2015
Posted at 8:55am
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Just when it seemed like the Mississauga Power were too strong, the Windsor Express dug deep and found a way. Despite a second quarter collapse, the team pulled through in the fourth quarter, mainly with its three-pointers. The long shots secured Windsor’s 107-93 win over Mississauga in Game Two of the National Basketball League of Canada Quarterfinals at the WFCU Centre.
The victory had the Express going up on Tuesday, and taking a 2-0 series lead.
Quinnel Brown led the team in scoring with 28 points. Chris Commons wasn’t far behind with 24 points, and 9 rebounds. Tony Bennett scored 22 points, and had 11 assists.
Windsor was off to a good start, hitting a pair of three-pointers to kick off the game. Mississauga stayed close, though, trailing by only a few points throughout the opening quarter. Action at both ends meant a tight game. It was Windsor’s threes that kept the team on top of the Power. The Express were up by three at the end of the first quarter.
The Power had a turnaround in their game plan early in the second. The visitors came out with guns blazing, firing off the quarter’s first seven points, including a massive alley-oop dunk. They now controlled the lead, and continued to build it. Michael Allison had back-to-back dunks as the Power were all over the Express. Windsor hit a pair of three-point shots, but they weren’t enough. The team was missing down low and from in close, leading to frustrated players. At the half, Mississauga led 48-40.
Woes carried over from the second quarter to the third for Windsor. The Express were off the mark and turned the ball over several times. Slowly, though, they came back. They regrouped and got back to basics. They sank a few three-pointers as Windsor fought for the upper hand. Chris Commons made a nice move with a one-handed spinning lay-up. Soon after, the Express got on a bit of a roll. They hit multiple threes, and eventually took a lead. It was only temporary as the Power regained the one-point advantage before the end of the third quarter.
The final frame would be crucial for the Express. They needed to get back on track, and quick. After chances at each end, Ryan Anderson got the train rolling. A missed basket by Mississauga had Windsor rushing down the court. Anderson set up for a huge three-pointer with 9:28 to play. Things would only escalate from there. With just over 8 minutes, Anderson hit another long three. Chris Commons followed suit with a three-pointer, as did Quinnel Brown (after a Commons steal) to give Windsor a 9-point lead, and force the Power into a timeout. Out of the timeout, following opportunities for both teams, Anderson and Brown each hit another three. Shortly after, Brown set up Kirk Williams Jr. for a giant two-handed alley-oop slam, and the crowd went crazy. Mississauga got within 9 with less than two minutes to go. Tony Bennett snuck in for huge back-to-back three-pointers to seal the victory. The buzzer sounded and the fans cheered loudly. The Express came back to beat the Mississauga Power 107-93 in Game Two to take a 2-0 series lead.
Windsor travels to Mississauga March 12th, and if necessary, March 17th. Game Five will be Wednesday, March 18th at the WFCU Centre if needed.