Express Readies For Playoffs With Win Over Halifax

Header-image-Shalapata-columnBy Ian Shalapata

(HALIFAX, NS) – The Express embarked on a 2-game road trip to the east coast and sailed away with a split, much the way the entire season has gone. The 20-18 Windsor franchise now sits an equidistant 4 games behind London and ahead of Niagara in the NBL Canada Central Division.

After a 109-97 loss to Saint John on Friday night, the Express braced themselves for a Sunday showdown against the League’s leading ballers. The Halifax Hurricanes have the best record in the NBL and have earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

On Sunday, however, it was the Express that blew out of town with a 111-93 victory to salvage the trip down the road.

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Chris Commons.

Windsor was led by the team of Chris Commons and Brandon Robinson who each put up a game-high 26 points in the win. The captain, Commons, added a game-high 9 boards while Robinson cleaned the glass for 6.

Billy Rush and Maurice Bolden also shot in the double digits with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Meanwhile, point guard Tony Bennett dished out 11 assists in leading the offense.

Halifax struck first, but Windsor equalled the effort as the two sides traded 5 points to begin the game. However, when Robinson hit for 3 followed by Commons knocking down the next 7 Windsor points, the Express started to edge away from the Hurricanes.

during the NBL Canada game between the Niagara River Lions and the Windsor Express on 24 March 2016 at the  WFCU Arena in Windsor, ON. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Brandon Robinson.

Windsor ended the 1st quarter up by 7 over Halifax, 32-25, and continued to increase the margin in the 2nd frame. At the half, Windsor was in front 57-46 as the teams headed to the dressing room.

The Express took a 26-20 spread into the 4th quarter, but began to lose some steam as Halifax went on a 14-4 run to take a stab at Windsor’s lead. However, 5 points from Commons stemmed the tide and allowed Windsor to ease toward the finish line.

With two games remaining on the regular season schedule, the 1st round match-ups have already been determined. Windsor will host Niagara at 7:30pm on Friday as a prelude to the Central Division’s opening round.

Following a Saturday tilt in London, Windsor will welcome the River Lions to town for two games starting May 2 at 7:30pm. Game 2 will take place on May 4 before the scene switches to the Meridian Centre in St Catharines on May 6.

As always, hit up The Square by email for both regular season and playoff tickets.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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