By Ian Shalapata
(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Express hosted the NBL’s cellar-dwelling Halifax Rainmen last night and it was hard to tell which side was which. The home team trailed for much of the game, only pulling ahead in the 4th quarter and hold on to win 98-91.
From the player introductions there seemed to be a level of unease with the Express. The team returned from the extend road-trip to the east coast on Tuesday, so they had enough time to recover from the excursion. Something else was in the air, weighing on the team.
The Rainmen took an early lead and held on throughout the first half. Windsor hit just 14 of 41 from the floor, 18 of 53 including from 3-point range, as the visitors ran to a surprising 40-36 half-time score.
The Express found themselves on top by 2 at the end of the 3rd, but the momentum was clearly not yet in Windsor’s favour.
The tide seemed to turn after an emotional outburst by DeAndre Thomas, when he tried to rally his teammates. Thomas scored 18 points and added a block and three steals in his 27 minutes. Unfortunately he suffered a lower body injury late in the 4th quarter that side-lined him foe the remained of the game. He remains questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Mississauga Power.
Windsor also received double-doubles from Quinnel Brown and Stefan Bonneau as coach Bill Jones relied heavily on his starting five. Brown had 18 points and 10 rebounds in 43 minutes and workhorse Bonneau led all scores with 27 points in 45 minutes, as well as dishing off 12 assists.
Windsor will have to shake off their malaise when they face Mississauga tonight at the WFCU Centre. Though the visitors are another league bottom feeder, they are averaging over 102 points per game.
Tip-off is 7:00 pm.