(ST CATHARINES, ON) – The Windsor Express were looking for their first win of the new year when they travelled to St Catharines to take on the Niagara River Lions, Monday night.Appearing on Niagara’s roster were former Express forwards Chris Commons and Kirk Williams Jr.
Commons is the Express franchise leader in games played, points, rebounds, and blocks. This was also the return of former River Lion and current Express forward Clinton Springer.
In a defence-heavy first quarter, Maurice Jones was all over the court. He contributed on ten of Windsor’s 15 first quarter points by notching a pair of assists and five points of his own. The River Lions went on an 8-0 run to end the quarter, led by Williams Jr, to take an 18-15 advantage.
The second quarter had a very fast pace. Windsor’s scoring output was led by Quinnel Brown, who finished the half with ten points and added a pair of fast break buckets.
A 13-3 Windsor run midway through the quarter gave the Express a one-point lead. That lead did not last long and Niagara was once again on top to end the half, this time by a score of 44-38.
Windsor came out of the break angry, highlighted by a ferocious left handed jam from Nick Evans, when he was fouled and was then able to capitalize on the three-point play. Evans got himself into foul trouble for the second consecutive night, making way for Lester Prosper.
Prosper would finish the game with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Windsor held the lead for most of the third quarter on the strength of 4-of-6 shooting for ten points from Brown. Heading into the fourth quarter the game was tied at 68.
With Windsor trailing by six, Commons led Niagara offensively, finishing with 22 points. Windsor went ice cold in the final quarter, shooting 19 per cent from the field.
Despite having six players score in double digits, the Express were out scored in the paint, as well as off turnovers.Windsor would remain winless on the road after dropping the game to Niagara 94-86.
Windsor’s record moves to 1-3 following the loss. Niagara has now broken even on the year, improving to 2-2 with the win.
Windsor’s top performer was Brown, who finished with 20 points, three assists, and four rebounds.
The Express returns home only to go back on the road January 10. This will be the first time Windsor makes an appearance at Memorial Auditorium to take on the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans.