By Matt Dumouchelle
(MISSISSAUGA, ON) – Tut Ruach set an NBLC playoff record with 48 points as the Mississauga Power fought off elimination by upending the Windsor Express 116-109, last night at the Hershey Centre.
The Power played without their leading scorer, Omar Strong and still had their highest offensive output, by far, in the series, to close the Express advantage to 2-1 in the best-of-five series.
Ruach carried the load for Mississauga all night, scoring 26 points in the first half and nearly matching that total in the second. The Power charged out from the tip off, opening up an early 9-2 lead, that Windsor would erase before a 13-2 Mississauga run followed, to set them up for a 30-21 first quarter lead.
That lead extended itself to as many as 18 points in the second, as the Power took a 57-43 margin into the locker room at halftime.
The Express won both the third and fourth quarters, but never got the game closer than six points in the second half. In fact, the team never led at any point in the contest.
Part of the stumble fell on three point shooting. Windsor shot only 27.8%, while Mississauga was 46.2% from beyond the arc.
Mississauga operated with a very short bench, while only two players substituted in. All five starters played over 40 minutes each.
Windsor got 26 points from Quinnel Brown, a third straight double-double from Tony Bennett, with 19 points and 12 assists, and 22 more points from Chris Commons, in the loss.
The Express get another crack at winning the opening round series on March 17, back at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. Game time is at 7:30 pm.