(WINDSOR, ON) – The Halifax Rainmen started off strong in game 2 of the NBLC finals against the Windsor Express on Friday evening. Despite the Express building steam down the stretch, the Rainmen managed to hold on for a 100-93 win to even the series at one game apiece.
Halifax was quick out of the gates and jumped into a 13-9 lead half way through the 1st quarter. They finished the opening frame with a 32-19 stranglehold on the Express.
Windsor continued to trail by double digits through the 2nd quarter and closed out the 1st half down by 14, 56-41. The Express continued to get pounded in the 3rd quarter and fell behind by as much as 24 points as Halifax climbed in front 73-49, before Windsor was able to close the gap to 82-66.
Working with the momentum, the Express continued to scratch and claw to get closer to Halifax. With 6 minutes left to play the margin was just 9 points and the fans could feel the tension in the air.
But Windsor could only chip two more points off the Halifax lead before the final buzzer, and now head to the east coast for three games.
The Express had four players scoring in the double digits, but struggled as a unit, shooting just 35% from the floor. A visually beat up Tony Bennett led the Windsor offense with a game-high 25 points and dished for 5 assists. Bennett also led the team from the free throw line, hitting on 8-of-11 for 73%, by far the best on the night.
Ryan Anderson and Kirk Williams Jr both dropped 16 points for the Express, and were followed closely by Quinnel Brown with 14. Brown suffered an upper body injury while defending the bucket during the second half. He missed some minutes on the floor when he had to be treated in the dressing room.
After the four high scorers, Windsor’s offense dropped off the table with the next highest total being Chris Commons’ 7 points.
The Rainmen spread out their offense with Tyrone Watson topping out with 16 points and five other players putting up 10 or more points.
The finals now shift to the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax for the next three games. If either team sweeps from this point, the champions will be crowned in the Nova Scotia capital. Any other scenario and the two teams will return to Windsor for game 6 on April 28.