By Ian Shalapata
(WINDSOR, ON) – During a rare Sunday afternoon game at the Station, where the “bad bounce” was the rule of the day, the Windsor Express broke a four-game losing streak with a 99-93 win over their Hwy 401 Rivals, the league-leading London Lightning. Despite leading from start to finish, the appearance of an easy victory was far from reality, as some defensive breakdowns and foul trouble made for an exciting ending.
Returning from a lower arm injury that kept him out of 17 games, Greg Surmacz was welcomed back by the enthusiastic crowd as he started his first game since 9 December. Playing with a wrist guard, Surmacz chipped in 3 points and 3 assists in 23 minutes.
Head coach Bill Jones relied heavily on Kevin Loiselle, Darren Duncan, and Chris Commons as the trio played 43, 41, and 42 minutes respectively. Jones was rewarded with strong performances from each of them.
Loiselle scored his 7th double-double of the season with 14 rebounds and 12 points, upping his team-leading rebounding to 197 on the year. Loiselle also had 3 steals during the game. Commons led the Express with 28 points including a perfect 7 for 7 from the line and .500 shooting from the floor.
The Express received a big night from Duncan as well, who was firing on all cylinders. Duncan pulled in 5 defensive rebounds in the back-court while draining 24 points in the winning effort. He also dished off 10 assists on his way to his second double-double in a row and 4th on the season. His last minute drive to the London basket gained him a free throw and 3 points while sealing the win for Windsor.
Although starting guard Mike Helms fouled out of the game mid-way through the 4th quarter, he did, however, manage to contribute 16 points and went 3 for 3 from the line while playing just 27 minutes.
With the 600 fans in attendance on their feet Stefan Bonneau put the game out of reach for the Lightning by dropping two free throws and etching the win in stone.
Windsor next faces the Oshawa Power at home on 6 February. It will be the first of five matches in the month and part of the package deal of 5 games for only $50.